Media speculation

Appearing before the finance committee yesterday, the Finance Minister attempted to clarify what he’d “heard” about the savings created by changing the age of eligibility for Old Age Security.

Peggy Nash: The information for Canadians to be able to have this debate about these major changes is not available to people. You, yourself, yesterday said that you speculated the changes to OAS would mean a change of about $10 billion to $12 billion that seniors would not get. That’s what the savings would be.

Jim Flaherty: No, no, that’s not what I said. There was speculation—

Peggy Nash: You said that’s what the change would mean.

Jim Flaherty: There was speculation about those numbers by the media.

Peggy Nash: What are the numbers, then?

Jim Flaherty: In fact, there are no cuts to OAS in the budget, period.

Peggy Nash: What was the $10 billion to $12 billion?

Jim Flaherty: The media was speculating about later on, would there be any savings? As I told them, there are no cuts to OAS in the budget.

Peggy Nash: You said you had heard the $10 billion to $12 billion figure. What was that figure?

Jim Flaherty: I heard it from the media. That’s the figure they were using. They asked me about it.