Customer Comments: Reactions to the Federal Budget

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“The proposal to increase the age of eligibility for OAS to 67 will negatively impact the many thousands  of low income seniors in this province.   Far too many seniors, many of whom are single and who will be eligible  for only  the OAS and perhaps GIS, will often have to choose between food and pharmaceuticals  or between staying at home and going to the mall to keep warm in winter due to creasing heating costs.  This is unacceptable and I would urge a reconsideration of the OAS eligibility criteria for low income seniors.

The need  for a national pharmaceutical program is stronger now than ever.  It is time that the provinces and the federal government collectively sought a fair drug pricing agreement that would benefit all but particularly low income seniors.

It is unfortunate that the increased downloading of fiscal responsibility from the federal government to the provinces, as indicated in this budget, will impact on the ability of the provinces to deliver services to those in need, especially vulnerable seniors.
One thing is clear: the responsibility to advocate continues. This budget is done. We now prepare for the 2013 budget.”

Ed Williams
Chair
St. John’s-Avalon Chapter of CARP

“The federal budget said OAS changes will happen between 2023-2029 (six years).  The retirement age change from 65 to 67 (24 months) happens over 48 months (four years). Seniors get screwed at a much quicker rate (fully by Jan 2027 I believe) than the budget suggests.  I hope it’s bye bye Charlie Brown for Harper if they don’t reverse this change.”

– CARP Member

The news that OAS will be deferred to age 67 is the latest in line of attacks on seniors by the Harper government, starting with income trusts.

While I do make my comments known to my MP, I just finished applying for a CARP membership. I want to add my voice to the thousands you represent.

I am 58 years old, so won’t be affected personally by the change to OAS, but this is not about me, this is about the many seniors that don’t age as well as others. The ones that clean houses for a living or stand on their feet all day in a factory, as a hairdresser, waitress, etc. and their bodies won’t let them work until age 67 (some of them are lucky to make it to 65). And these are primarily people without private pension plans.

I have a couple of questions about the age adjustment for OAS:

For those currently on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Plan, their benefits will likely just continue to age 67, but how tough will it be for new age 65 applicants to be awarded benefits?

Will single applicants age 65 – 67 simply receive the Ontario Works rate of $599 versus the OAS + GIS of $1272 (if they are eligible for GIS)? Not likely.

I understand there will be some compensation to the provinces for those who will require social assistance until 67, but what if they don’t meet the criteria be to qualify for social assistance, the only criteria for OAS is age.

What guarantee is there that the government of the day in 2023 to 2029 will live up to the promise made by the current government yesterday to supply funding to the provinces for social services in the interim period between 65 and 67?

– Your newest CARP member