From The Advocate, March 2012
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Union retirees condemn Harper’s attack on seniors
“Such a change… should have been proposed in an election campaign.”
Published March, 2012 - The Congress of Union Retirees of Canada (CURC) – the national representative of union retiree groups across Canada, including B.C. FORUM – accuses the Harper government of attacking seniors with its proposal to change eligibility for Old Age Security benefits.
CURC President Pat Kerwin says moving retirement to age 67 would just make things worse for many seniors.
“If the government wanted to insure decent incomes for tomorrow’s seniors, it should be advocating the improvement of both the Canada and Quebec Pension plans,” Kerwin says.
CURC also supports a 15% increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement of the Old Age Security Pension to lift all seniors out of poverty immediately. A doubling of CPP and QPP over time will result in fewer seniors requiring GIS in the future.
Kerwin adds, “It is unfair to ask workers to delay retirement and when they do retire to be forced to live meagre lives in their golden years.”
Kerwin says Prime Minister Stephen Harper also showed disrespect for Canadians by announcing his government’s intentions regarding OAS at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, instead of at home. “If he wanted to bring forward such a change, it should have been proposed in an election campaign,” Kerwin says.
The CURC President urges Canadians to reject the Harper Government’s proposed changes to OAS, and fight for improvements for retirement security for all. The Congress of Union Retirees of Canada represents over half a million retired union members.