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Once the last reform decision did not restrict the increase in spending and did not eliminate the actuarial imbalance, the sustainability of the pension system will involve a constant increase in taxation and transfers from central government, increasing the burden on the younger generations.
It seems reasonable that in exceptional times, like the current one, the economic cost of the major increase in gas, oil and other commodity prices should be shared across the population as a whole — including pensioners. This would then help to reduce the risk of inflationary spirals and of future stagflation.
Unlike the 2011 and 2013 reforms, the 2021 measures increase the projected deficit of the pension system and pass it on to the State, increase contributions, making job creation more expensive, and reduce intergenerational equity, in exchange for a greater budgetary burden on the younger generations.
The record highs reached in household savings in the second quarter of 2020, has been one of the most striking characteristics of the current crisis. Since then, it has declined somewhat, which has lent support to the recovery in consumer expenditure and the housing market.
The recommendations of the Pension Commission of the Spanish Congress (Pacto de Toledo) are a good starting point for addressing gradual changes in the system, but they are not enough to ensure its sustainability. If the appropriate measures are not taken, the recommendations have the potential to imbalance the system.
The country only collects 14% of GDP for tax purposes. Not only does this represent the lowest level of all the countries that are part of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), but it is also lower than the collection levels of most Latin American countries.