People from the Saskatoon community gathered to discuss the proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) recently announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on February 15 at the Cliff Wright Library.
The event was hosted by Saskatoon Member of Legislative Assembly Cam Broten and London-Fanshawe Federal Member of Parliament, Irene Mathyssen.
Irene Mathyssen - Federal MP for London-Fanshawe
Irene brought to light several facts that the government just isn’t admitting to.
As it stands in Canada:
– 70 % of workers don’t have pension plans available through their employment. These also tend to be lower income earners.
– Despite all the recent justifications offered by the various Conservative MP’s there are two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) seniors living in poverty in Canada.
– An investment of only 15% to the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) would be enough to lift our seniors out of poverty.
– We can afford (according to the Stephen Harper Government) sixty (60) billion dollars in tax cuts to the most profitable corporations, yet cannot afford to address poverty for seniors.
– The Conservatives have proposed the Pooled Private Pension Plan – this is really a glorified group RRSP which leaves all the financial risk of the market to the worker.
Irene underscored the fact that seniors contribute to society and they should not have to pay for the debacle in Ottawa. She also gave credit to the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) for their 3 year Retirement Security Plan, and for all of their assistance provided to Opposition on this important issue.
Cam Broten - Provincial MLA for Saskatoon-Massey Place
Linda Flowers, a retired member of SEIU-West raised a valid point in the discussion. While old age security supports one to two people, Employment Insurance often has to support an entire family. Keeping workers in the work force longer takes opportunities away from younger workers.
The numbers agree with the Federal Opposition
Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page backs up the Oppositions’ claims that the Conservative’s plan to increase the age of OAS from 65 to 67 is unnecessary (click here to watch video).
(Watch the Video that has Kevin Page speaking about the Conservative Plan. Concerned about what Flaherty claims in this video? Mr. Page’s position was created by the Conservative government to do exactly what he is paid to do – call out the government on financial boondoggles – click here to read the article.
OAS is sustainable over the long term.
The NDP Plan http://www.ndp.ca/retirement
Visit the Canadian Labour Congress’ Retirement Security for Everyone webpage and see what happens with your Pension savings with this on-line tool that the CLC offers.
Here are a few more articles for your reading pleasure:
Winnipeg Free Press: Cutting OAS costs necessary for future fiscal health of government: Flaherty
Rabble: No one paying attention should be surprised by Harper government’s fake pension ‘crisis’
The Star: Stephen Harper’s scary scenario about Old Age Security is wildly overblown, budget watchdog argues
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