Friday, May 29, 2009

Harper lies to Canadians again, by saying that CPP is secure

Yesterday during Question Period, Stephen Harper responded to a question from Jack Layton about the bonuses paid to the executives of the CPPIB by saying that the Canada Pension Plan is secure and that it is well funded for decades to come.

At the very least such a statement is grossly misleading, if not downright incorrect, since it comes a mere four days after Flaherty and the Harper government made changes to the Canada Pension Plan that sees Canadians pension entitlements REDUCED, at a time when they are more needed that ever. Time was (i.e five days ago) that you could take your CPP at the age of 60 and retire with payments that are 30% less than if you waited until the age of 65. Four days ago, the Harper government increased that early retirement penalty from 30% to 36%. Therefore those taking early retirement, perhaps because they have recently been laid off from their job or because they had been planning to, will now retire on 64% of their full benefit, rather than 70% of their full CPP benefit. A benefit that they have fully contributed to in a way no different that it they waited to age 65 and a benefit that many had planned on.....only to get yanked from under their feet by the Harper government.

How is it credible or honest for Stephen Harper to say that the CPP is solid, at the very same time that he is reducing CPP benefits.......UNILATERALLY?

Are MPs and Senator’s pensions experiencing similar unilateral reduction in their entitlements, or is the fact that MPs and Senators pensions are funded by the annual government’s budget (err deficit) rather than a dwindling pool of assets, like the CPP, make them immune from such arbitrary and unilateral REDUCTIONS, while inherently dishonest politicians like Jim Flaherty portray the circumstances quite differently?

Here is what Harper said in the House yesterday to mislead Canadians about the security of their Canada Pension Plan:

“First, Mr. Speaker, it is important to correct the misinformation in that question. The Canada pension plan is actuarially sound. The benefits to Canadians are guaranteed for many decades to come.”

The Plan may be sound, but that’s only because Harper unilaterally REDUCED the CPP benefits paid to Canadians.

Here is what the Harper government announced four days ago, as described in a Paul Vieira article of May 22, 2009 in the Financial Post:

“However, this comes with a catch. Under the existing arrangement, CPP benefits are reduced by a small percentage for each month they are claimed in advance of the retirement age of 65. So those who begin drawing benefits at age 60 see a reduction of 30%. Under the new plan, that reduction would amount to 36%.”

This so reminds me of how Harper screwed the 75% of Canadians who save for retirement with no employer pension to speak of and who came to rely on the income from income trusts as a retirement investment alternative...only to get royally screwed by Harper under his false pretense of “tax leakage”, the gross lie and deception that that was.


Bruce Benson said...

Harper lies again when he says all is fine with CPP. In reality he has been busy putting the boots to us again while keeping his own pension entitlements.

Dr Mike said...

Right on Bruce!!

Flaherty described these changes as "an easing of the rules" so you can work & collect a reduced pension at the same time.

What is this clown talking about--this you can do now as long as the month preceding the start-up of collection & the month of the first collection has gross salary of less than $908.00.

All months before & after , you can make what you want.

This is just another example of shaft the little guy.

These clowns just don`t give a flying "frack" about any of us.

Dr Mike Popovich

crf said...

1) Massive increase in government spending, for little discernable benefit, other than trying to buy people's votes with their own money. (This appears to have worked, unfortunately ...). Whining and passing the buck when, in a recession, the Conservatives try to blame others for the hole we are in.

2) Stupid GST tax cuts, partially justified by pretending the tax is extremely regressive. They could have kept the GST were it was, and given more credits to low income earners if they felt it was too regressive. I guess the Mercedes delears were happy though.

3) Inevitable tax increases. Massive deficits mean tax increases in future. Increasing the effective retirement age is similar to a tax increase. Why don't they just level with Canadians now, do the only responsible thing, and pass legislation mandating GST and income tax increases once the recession is over, in order to overcome the STRUCTURAL DEFICIT that Jim, Steve and Tony have wrought. The recession may have dug a small hole. But the conservatives willingly dug it much deeper than it needed to be.

4) Income trusts were just one of the first signs about how this government does business. Say one thing, do another. Justify with fear, bombast and hype.

What's the common theme: non-transparency on every important decision. Every. Single. One. (The latest being Lisa Raitt and a single bank deciding what Canada's nuclear policy will be. Whither the engineers and scientists?)

I'm a left-wing socially, moderate-liberal fiscally. But I could stand having a fiscally conservative government. But any government has to be accountable. It cannot use its power to manipulate government to hide the truth. And when its lies are exposed, it can't legitimately fall back on the excuse that power itself justifies its decisions (look at the hell they are putting Abdelrazik over, just to prove their pathetic point about power). It has to explain its decisions using dispassionate evidence. It has to implement procedures -transparent processes- for arriving at decisions.

Is there really much difference between Harper's Canada, and Putin's Russia? Well, yes, to be fair. But only in degree, and we're hell bent on catching up!