The financial imbalance of our Social Security system is becoming more and more evident with the number of people benefiting from it increasing and the number of people contributing to it decreasing. Despite the increase (direct or indirect) in mortality caused by the pandemic, Portugal maintains the second lowest birth rate among the 28 member states of the European Union and remains the sixth oldest country in the world, in a population regression that only finds parallel in the 60s.
The renewal of generations is therefore compromised in Portugal, since the number of elderly people is higher than the number of children. If everything remains the same and the trend continues over the next 50 years, we will be much less and more aged, with a 20% reduction in the population, ie, below eight million inhabitants.
With the demographic balance absolutely deficient, Portugal, in five decades, will have three times more elderly than young people, that is, 317 elderly people (> 65 years old) for every 100 young people (<15 years old) and there will be so many non-active people ( elderly and young) as the active. With this age imbalance, there will be fewer and fewer contributors to our welfare state and many more beneficiaries and dependents on social and state support.
According to last September's statistical data from Social Security, Portugal has about 1.959.924 people who benefit from benefits, subsidies, allowances, supplements or insertion income, to which there are 3.600.623 Portuguese with old-age, survivors or disability pensions ( CGA included). After all, almost 5,6 million Portuguese people depend on the Social Security and State budget, which still supports and pays salaries directly to almost 700.000 civil servants.
Round numbers, Social Security and the State provide income directly to every two out of three Portuguese, which adds to all those who indirectly (suppliers or service providers) depend on the State's employment and income, or those who are on social security programs. vocational training (there are 260.000 unemployed who do not receive a subsidy) also have part of their food and transportation expenses financed, or in the face of the pandemic crisis, almost one million Portuguese benefited from lay-off measures
It is more than evident that it is necessary to stop to think about this theme, looking at it from a social as well as an economic perspective. And, proactively, plan investments and effective support for Portuguese families. It is essential to ensure the renewal of generations and to encourage private initiative, which cannot be as if it were a decree-law. And because it is effectively a national priority, it is also necessary to protect those who have discounted their entire lives and, when they reach retirement age, have their right to benefit from a pension.
It is a matter of survival of our social security system, whose sustainability is at stake and close to rupture, putting at risk the payment of pensions and other social benefits and health costs to face this pandemic.
Strictly speaking, all political parties are aware of this reality - which is unavoidable - and develop plans, projects and platforms aimed at the sustainability of the financial system and the increase in the birth rate. However, we have known for a long time that we do not have the money to secure this dimension of the welfare state and, in recent years, left-wing policies have done nothing for this, aggravating the problems that become more acute and chronic. And with a sick welfare state, who will survive?