Liberals Says They Will Fight Harper Conservatives’ Attack On Public Pensions

MONTREAL – Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Liberal Seniors and Pensions critic Judy Sgro urged the Harper Conservatives to come clean about their plan to gut Canada’s public pension system.

“The Prime Minister’s attack on public pensions in his remarks at Davos this week, coupled with past statements that his government may raise the qualifying age for Old Age Security (OAS) from 65 to 67, make it clear that this government is preparing to launch an assault on public pensions,” said Rae. “Instead of bringing in the changes our pension system needs to ensure sustainable prosperity, this government is stripping benefits from seniors that they rely on and have earned. This is completely unacceptable.”

Rae went on to say that it was strange that Harper would have gone through an entire election campaign just a few months ago without presenting his grand plan to cut pensions for seniors.

“He didn’t have to go to his Alpine perch to let us in on the news,” continued Mr. Rae. “He should have told Canadians before the election.”

The tough prescription Harper is planning for OAS is simply not necessary.  At current trends, by the time the baby-boom retirement wave peaks around 2031 the share of Canada’s GDP spent on OAS will increase only 0.73 % over today’s level.

“Next week, as Parliament returns, the Harper Conservatives will try to divert attention from their attack on public pensions and the OAS by pushing Bill C-25, wholly inadequate legislation that introduces a band-aid solution,” said Sgro. “A Registered Pooled Pension Plan touches only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to pension reform. What we need is a voluntary supplemental Canada Pension Plan, a low-cost, high-return, universal option that Canadians can trust.”

As our population ages, it is vitally important that the federal government focus its efforts on creating sustainable solutions for seniors to remain financially secure in their retirement.

“While the Conservatives choose to take away benefits from seniors, Liberals will continue to fight for balanced pension reforms that will ensure that Canadians will have a secure pension in their retirement,” concluded Sgro.

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