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The Canadian Progressive: Budget 2013: NDP Urges Harper To Change Course, Put Canadians First

Budget is an opportunity to start building a fairer, greener, more prosperous Canada By New Democrats (Press Release) |Feb. 21, 2013: OTTAWA – With our economy continuing to underperform and structural imbalances worsening, NDP Finance Critic Peggy Nash (Parkdale – High Park) is calling on the Conservative government to change course and take action to better READ MORE

CANADIAN PROGRESSIVE WORLD: Liberal Party Petition: No More Omnibus Bills, Harper

The just-concluded Parliamentary session witnessed “serious abuses of power by the Harper Conservatives” through the use of two omnibus bills “that are radically changing Canada”: crime Bill C-10 and Budget Bill C-38. Please Go HERE to sign and share the Liberal Party of Canada’s petition against this abuse of power by Harper and the Conservatives.

The Progressive Economics Forum: Later Retirement: A Win – Win Solution?

The C D Howe Institute have put out a study on later retirement by Peter Hicks, a former senior official with HRSDC and the OECD who has written a lot on the policy implications of ageing societies. I find this to be one of his less convincing efforts.

The argument – with parenthetical comments – is as follows.

1) Employment rates of older workers, including those over age 65 have been rising rapidly, and this trend can be expected to continue “without any policy action” (p.20). Indeed, employment rates can be expected to rise significantly higher and future retirees

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Later Retirement: A Win – Win Solution?

The Progressive Economics Forum: How Much Will YOU Lose from OAS Deferral??

Announcing a bad policy 10 years in advance doesn’t make it a good policy.

So the fact that the Harper government is giving people at least 10 years to prepare for 2 years of life without an important source of income, hardly makes it OK — as so many media commentators have tritely implied. In fact, in this case it makes the policy even more unfair.

Likewise, the fact that many young Canadians seem to have (wrongly) resigned themselves to the fact that public pensions won’t be there for them when they retire, hardly eases the pain of this

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: How Much Will YOU Lose from OAS Deferral??

The Progressive Economics Forum: OAS, the Budget and the Baby Boomers

The Budget justifies raising the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS on the grounds that the long-term fiscal sustainability of the program is being undermined by rising life expectancy.

No estimates of savings are provided. They will be very modest.

Given that average life expectancy at age 65 is 20 years, raising the eligibility age by two years could only save a maximum of 10% of projected spending on future retirees if implemented immediately.

However, the government proposes to phase in the increased eligibility age between 2023 and 2029 which will hugely reduce any savings relative to current projections.

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: OAS, the Budget and the Baby Boomers

The Progressive Economics Forum: Budget 2012: Pennywise But Pound Foolish

Marc, Andrew and Toby have posted substantial analyses of yesterday’s federal budget, but here are my two cents about its economic forecasts.

Table 2.1 envisions a 7.5% unemployment rate this year, slightly above last year’s rate of 7.4%. That seems like an admission of failure from a budget ostensibly about job creation.

This table also projects real GDP growth rates of 2.3% in Canada versus 2.6% in the U.S. over the next five years. The higher American figure may well be realistic given that the U.S. economy is starting to bounce back from

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Budget 2012: Pennywise But Pound Foolish

The Progressive Economics Forum: The Illusory Savings of Hiking the Age of Eligibility for OAS

Former Assistant Chief Statistician Michael Wolfson shows that governments collectively stand to save very little from hiking the age of eligibility for the OAS/GIS, a measure that is widely expected to be in Thursday’s Budget.

The math (based on the SPSDM):

In 2011, cutting OAS/GIS from seniors age 65 and 66 would save the federal government $4 Billion.

However, the feds lose $500 million and the provinces $300 million in personal income tax revenues (since benefits are taxable.)

Plus there is a $300 Million loss in sales and similar indirect tax revenues due to reduced purchasing power, $200 Million

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: The Illusory Savings of Hiking the Age of Eligibility for OAS

The Progressive Economics Forum: Stapleton on Harper’s Proposed OAS/GIS Changes

John Stapleton has an opinion piece out on Prime Minister Harper’s proposed changes to Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

I find the following quote from Stapleton to be particularly troubling:

By providing OAS and GIS at age 65, Canada has greatly reduced the incidence of poverty among seniors. By moving the age of eligibility for OAS to 67, absent any other measures, the Conservative government will place a whole new age cohort into risk of poverty. My own estimate is that almost 50,000 social assistance recipients, most of them persons with disabilities, would be forced

Murray Dobbin Repost: Bow Down Canadians, Corporations Are King

Two recent stories out of Ottawa underline the ongoing political and economic assault on ordinary Canadians. More Canadians are now working for low wages than at any time in decades, continuing a trend that began in the early 1990s, and Stephen Harper has announced major changes to retirement benefits — including delaying Old Age Security (OAS) eligibility to [...]

elementalpresent: Waging or Resisting Unwinnable Wars: A Response to Donald Gutstein

Across Canada and every other place where austerity has become a household term, the idea of generational conflict has come out of retirement (pun intended). In Canada, intergenerational issues and tensions garnered a bit of attention during the Occupy encampments, and resurfaced again in the wake of the Prime Minister’s nonchalant announcement, in Davos, that [...]

Bill Longstaff: Stephen Harper and the triumph of ideology over reason

Why did he do it? Why did Stephen Harper suggest we had a public pension funding problem when we don’t? And why did he proclaim his concern at an international conference of all places?

Let’s all repeat slowly: there … is … no … funding … problem … with … our … public … pension … plans. Kevin Page, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, has made very clear that the Old Age Security

Montreal Simon: Jimbo Flaherty and the Con Pension Scam

Well even by Jimbo Flaherty’s ghastly standards it was a bizarre and ugly sight. There he was late this afternoon, looking like he wanted to hide under a chair, or in his case a small stool.

Sweating profusely, talking in a hoarse whisper, and promising you don’t have to worry about your pension or your Old Age Security if you’re older than fifty-seven.

“This is not for tomorrow morning,” Flaherty said in Oshawa, Ont., at an event with Conservative MP Colin Carrie.”This is for 2020, 2025, so that people who are middle-aged and younger today, like Colin and

. . . → Read More: Montreal Simon: Jimbo Flaherty and the Con Pension Scam

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: How MPs voted on Opposition Motion to Protect OAS

The motion to maintain the age requirements for OAS at 65 was defeated.

The motion read:

That the House reject calls by the Prime Minister to balance the Conservative deficit on the backs of Canada’s seniors by means such as raising the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and call on the… ..

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: Harper Conservatives on Liberal’s Plan for OAS – 2004

Back in 2004, the Harper Conservatives accused the Paul Martin Liberals of having a “hidden agenda” to raise the age to qualify for the Old Age Security to 67.  The Conservative Party of Canada had acquired the information on the Liberals through access to information.

As far as I… ..

The Progressive Economics Forum: Old Age (In)Security

Here is an overview of today’s timely Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives paper on Old Age Security:

Old Age Security (OAS) is the basic building block of Canada’s retirement income system. Canadians build on that foundation, saving for their retirement with benefits from the Canada or Quebec Pension Plan, a workplace pension if they’re lucky enough to have one, and private savings. This short technical paper explains how OAS works, and also sheds some light on the negative impact of increasing the OAS age of eligibility, the program’s sustainability—the number of OAS beneficiaries is expected to almost double over

The Progressive Economics Forum: Diane Finley’s Demographics

On CTV yesterday, human resources minister Diane Finley said (45 seconds into this interview): “As we go forward, we’re going to have three times the expense in Old Age Security as we do now, but we’re only going to have half the population to pay for it.”

That sounds pretty scary. If the total cost triples, with only half as many people to pay it, each Canadian would have to pay six times as much for Old Age Security (OAS)!

The Chief Actuary does estimate that the cost of OAS, in nominal dollars, will almost triple by 2030.

. . . → Read More: The Progressive Economics Forum: Diane Finley’s Demographics

Occupy Ottawa: Harper Conservatives’ budget 2012 cuts: An Occupy Ottawa activist’s lamentation

The Conservative government’s “austerity” budget cuts, they’re coming. Huge cuts to social programs and services. Cuts so deep they’ll alter the quality of life of thousands of Canadians. Especially through massive job losses in the …Read More

Canadian Progressive World: An Occupy Ottawa activist laments Harper Conservatives’ budget cuts

The Conservative government’s “austerity” budget cuts, they’re coming. Huge cuts to social programs and services. Cuts so deep they’ll alter the quality of life of thousands of Canadians. Especially through massive job losses in the …Read More

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: NDP Move to Protect Old Age Security – Vote on Feb 6th

The NDP used the Opposition day in Parliament today to put forward a motion that the federal government not pay for its agenda on the backs of Canadian Seniors by raising the age at which they will qualify for Old Age Security (OAS).

 Several times NDP members put the question to Human… ..

Scott's DiaTribes: Public backlash forces Harper to back down a bit on OAS cuts

Conservative MP’s are often described as parrots for doing nothing but repeating scripted phrases over and over again in defense of their government, or being not the brightest bunch in the world. However, they are smart enough to recognize when the voters get mad, and concerned enough about their own electoral well-being to bring it up to Harper:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s musings about possible changes to Old Age Security have resulted in a public backlash — and complaints from his own MPs. Conservative MPs have been overwhelmed with emails and phone calls from constituents who have been concerned about

elementalpresent: Delaying Retirement: What Does it Mean for Younger Workers?

Since the announcement that his government was considering raising the eligibility age for Old Age Security (OAS), Stephen Harper has backed off slightly, assuring the public that such reforms are years away. Nevertheless, media and experts of all kinds have fired into gear, speculating on the possible motivations for OAS reform, and exploring its potential implications. [...]

Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The High Cost of Corporate Tax Cuts

The Harper government’s plans to reduce the deficit with savings from Old Age Security, are absolute nonsense.  Their argument is that it will be more beneficial for younger workers.  Just how is forcing Canadians to work two years longer, going to help those entering the workforce?

They will have to wait two more years for a job to open up.

However, this decision does provide an opportunity for Canadians to sum up this government’s performance and goals, and determine who is really benefiting.

In a letter to the Ottawa Citizen, David Hobson says:  Harper government takes from the poor

. . . → Read More: Pushed to the Left and Loving It: The High Cost of Corporate Tax Cuts

A Different Point of View....: NDPers dreamin’ of victory, ‘trash’ power sharing with Libs

The issue of having the New Democratic Party form an alliance with other parties – if such a move would keep the Conservatives out of power in 2015 – is vitally important for Canadians who fear the possibility of another four years of disastrous cutting and slashing.

But some of the NDP candidates for the party leadership do not seem concerned.

From what has been said during debates and party chit-chat, it is amazing how many New Democrats are convinced that the party definitely will win the 2015 election. 

Therefore, most say there is no reason for leadership candidates to discuss any sort of alliance with the Liberals and Greens to send Harper packing for good.

Even though the facts indicate that an NDP win in 2015 is a long shot, three leadership hopefuls taking part in a debate in Halifax on Sunday spoke out in favour of the status . . . → Read More: A Different Point of View….: NDPers dreamin’ of victory, ‘trash’ power sharing with Libs

Scott's DiaTribes: Harper needs to come clean on his Old Age Security ‘reforms’

Parliament resumes very shortly as of this writing. It is to be hoped that Stephen Harper will deem Parliament important enough to reveal the details on his very public musings in Davos Switzerland last week about Old Age Security needing to be “reformed” – an announcement that couldn’t wait for Parliament to re-open this week, apparently.

It should be hoped that Harper’s “plan” consists a bit more then this:

 

Random Ranting Raving and Ratings: Harper Conservatives – Cutting off Old-Age Security

The Harper Conservatives are making a move to cut off Old-Age Security.  Their internal communications are framing Old-Age Security as a burden on ordinary Canadians.  I don’t see many Canadians complaining that a small portion of their tax money goes into ensuring that low-income seniors… ..