What has Jim Flaherty heard?

On April 24, Peggy Nash asked Human Resources Minister Diane Finley how much money the government expected to be saved by raising the eligibility age for Old Age Security to 67. The minister did not answer the question. Ms. Nash asked again. Ms. Finley again failed to answer the question.

On May 1, Scott Brison demanded to know how much would be saved. Ms. Finley avoided the question. On May 10, Thomas Mulcair put the question to the Prime Minister. Mr. Harper dodged. Yesterday afternoon, Ms. Nash again asked Ms. Finley. Ms. Finley again failed to offer an estimate.

But outside the House yesterday, Jim Flaherty said he’d “heard” a couple numbers.

Speaking to reporters after question period, Flaherty allowed that he has heard an estimate of $10 billion. “I’ve heard that number, I’ve heard $12 billion also. Something in that area,” he said.

So is that the answer Ms. Nash, Mr. Brison and Mr. Mulcair were looking for? Maybe. Or maybe not.

Flaherty’s officials also refused to provide the estimate at a briefing to parliamentarians at the end of April, although they did give it to reporters covering the federal budget on March 29.