This article was published by Advisor.ca on May 8th 2012. To see this article and other related articles on the Advisor.ca website, please click here
The Canadian Association of Retired Persons (CARP) is leading the pushback efforts against the federal government’s decision to raise the OAS eligibility age from 65 years to 67 years.
In an open letter to MPs, CARP has asked to separate OAS changes from the rest of the Budget. Their main contention is that it was never put before the electorate and fully debated.
“CARP members would be shattered to learn that such a fundamental part of our social safety net was rushed through Parliament on the strength of the government’s Parliamentary majority alone, without adequate opportunity for full debate,” said Susan Eng, vice-president, advocacy, CARP.
In the letter, CARP insisted that the changes to the Old Age Security Act contained in Division 24 of Bill C-38 be fully studied and debated before being passed.
Debates on Bill C-38 are limited and the vote to refer the Bill to Committee takes place on Monday, May 14.
“Debates on Bill C-38 are moving quickly and we understand that there may be various motions to separate the OAS changes or to otherwise give effect to this result before next Monday’s vote,” it said.
The association is pressing for “a full and complete debate on the OAS changes which represent a fundamental shift in Canada’s social safety net at a time when Canadians of all ages are concerned about their financial and retirement prospects.”
CARP is on the record about its opposition to hiking the eligibility age for OAS and recommends the government look instead at potential savings from health care reform or reduced military spending once the Afghan mission is complete.
According to CARP polls, its members roundly reject raising the OAS eligibility age and see better ways to help younger Canadians, such as increasing job opportunities.