2) Changing the level of support for seniors
The Prime Minister already announced — in Davos, Switzerland — that there would be changes to Old Age Security (OAS) payments, but refused for months to give detail about their plans. The budget and bill C-38 confirms what was rumored — that the age of eligibility for OAS would be raised from 65 to 67, in an effort to keep it sustainable, according to the Conservatives. Though the Parliamentary Budget Officer has numbers that indicate the OAS is in no danger of becoming unsustainable at current levels, and many seniors in Canada live under the poverty line with this change making it more difficult to feed themselves and pay their heating bills.
Of course, this particular change doesn’t come into effect until 2023, and who knows who will be in government by then? We know that Prime Minister Harper doesn’t believe that current governments should be held to decisions made by previous governments.
3) Create changes to Employment Insurance because “The only bad job is not having a job.”
The Harper Conservatives have a long history of attacking employment insurance — Finance Minister Jim Flaherty saying that he had worked driving a taxi to pay his way through law school (as though that means it should be easy for every adult Canadian to do the most menial task to put food on the table and pay their mortgage), and Human Resources Minister Diane Finley called EI “lucrative.”
This government tends to ignore the fact that to be eligible for EI, you have to have held a job and paid into the program for a certain amount of time.
One might also point out that being a minister in this government has proven to be pretty lucrative for some.
Photo Credit: Ontario Chamber of Commerce
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