Canada Pension Kerfuffle – Feb. 10th, 2012
OK. We get the Canada Pension Math. Pensions will cost Canada more in the future.
Yes, we know that today, four people are working for every Canadian collecting a pension and that soon there will be only two people working for every pensioner.
We understand that we baby boomers are living too long, (sorry), that the population is aging, that the pension system will be broke – that the fiscal sky is falling, yada yada yada…
We get the Math. I’m sure Canadians would be willing to have a rational discussion about how to address the imminent increase in the cost of Canada Pensions.
Unfortunately, we weren’t asked.
Rather, Stephen Harper used the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to impress the International community (the U.S.) with his fiscal prudence, gleefully trying to out- conservative the U.S. by announcing plans to cut the cost of Canadian pensions.
“Oh, didn’t I mention this to you Canadians? Oops, silly me – I was going to tell you soon – honest.”
How spectacularly inappropriate and disrespectful Mr. Harper’s grandstanding was to Canadian seniors.
But although Canadians get the pension Math, there is some other math for us to consider before joining the chorus of congratulations to Mr. Harper for having the “courage” to finally bring up Canada’s funding of pensions. (“Long overdue; I should say so!”)
His suggestion that we raise pension qualification from age 65 to 67 would save the government 2 to 3 billion dollars per year.
Leaving Afghanistan would save Canada one to two billion per year. Abandoning the “build more prisons” scheme would save 10 billion in capital costs and 93 thousand per inmate, per year, in operating costs.
Scrapping the F35 bomber purchase (as Australia and others are poised to do) would save Canada at least 35 billion dollars. Re-thinking corporate tax cuts could save 13.7 billion per year, per percentage point.
Let’s see… fulfilling our commitment to our seniors, funding health care, science and technology and environmental initiatives; or throwing money at American wars and bombers, building prisons and pipelines, establishing an Office of Religious Freedom and giving more tax cuts to the rich?
Hmm… Tough call? Not for Stephen Harper.
Perhaps he might at least consider announcing the next cuts to social programmes while in his own country.