Scary stories

by Aaron Wherry

The government sent up Joyce Bateman during QP yesterday to lament that the NDP wanted to expand the Canada Pension Plan. Specifically, the NDP’s plan in the last election was to gradually double CPP over a period of seven years.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was not present to hear this, which is perhaps just as well, seeing as how Mr. Flaherty also used to support an expansion of CPP. And, as David Akin notes, Mr. Flaherty also just allowed an increase in those dreaded payroll taxes.




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Scary stories

  1. From the Flaherty article: ”
    Jim Flaherty is urging the provinces to support a plan to increase mandatory CPP premiums, but the federal finance minister has stopped short of endorsing the kind of reform that some critics say is necessary to ease a growing pension crisis.”

    Strange: the same newspaper which is running several stories today about how there is not a pension crisis said only last year that there is in fact a pension crisis, and even criticized Flaherty’s proposal for not going far enough.

    “But Mr. Flaherty surprised many with a letter to his fellow finance ministers last week siding with “modest,” mandatory premium increases to fund higher benefits. ”

    OK so Flaherty floated a modest increase, while the NDP proposes a doubling.   A 100% increase cannot reasonably be described as modest, so they were proposing two different things.

    EI is a self-financing program and contributions need to meet obligations, the government has little room or say in whether premiums go up or down.  It’s a math thing.

    • I think they are talking about different pension crisis. The pension system is conceptualized as a three-pillar approach, between government, personal, and employer based saving. Only the first one is reasonably sound. Employers are increasingly abandoning true pensions in favour of DC plans, and many Canadians are not saving enough through RRSPs, etc. So, in this sense, there is a pension crisis. For some reason, the government has decided that the best-functioning part of the pension system is the part that needs attention. I am not a huge fan of OAS as constituted, but rolling back OAS will I think make the pension problem strictly worse.

  2. The “kind of reform” that’s necessary is more young workers. And the young workers of Canada are already stressed out of their minds. There hasn’t been an ounce of growth in incomes but there’s been an enormous increase in housing costs. And where data shows that households have not lost earning power, it’s because of the increase in spousal-work-contributions watering-down the effect. And now the world’s most-spoiled generation, “the baby boomers,” want to F-over their own children’s generation just a little bit more. No. 

    • LOL another Gen Why whining about life.

    • Lookit bub, I’ve been paying taxes all my working life — hundreds of thousands of dollars. I don’t need to be lectured about being a greedy boomer because I’m not greedy.

      • Of course you’re not. After all, just because the government used to have very generous subsidies for post-secondary education, higher infrastructure spending and everything else that put us in a mountain of debt in the first place, just because these programs have now been clawed back or cancelled leaving only the huge debt burden that the young people will have to be responsible for, that doesn’t mean greedy at all.

        After all, if I buy a flat-screen and put the bill on my kids credit card, that’s not greedy right? After all, there were all those years I paid for the little buggers food.

        • Well, I’ve more than paid back my education directly and indirectly through taxes. I’m not freeloading –  I’m part of that group that gets clawed back and has to pay their own way so do me a favour and quit twisting my words to suit your agenda!

          • So did you pay for anything else through your taxes? Roads? Medical care? Stable monetary system? Courts? You know how much went to each? Since the government has more debt now than when the boomers were born, the only answer is that the boomers have spent a fuckton more than they’ve put in, and they’re leaving their kids to make up the difference.

            Not greedy at all.

          • Now we know the answer to the question, “What have future generations ever done for us?”

          • The govt also has more GDP than when the Boomers were born.

            A panic over nonsense.

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