CARP members welcome specific commitments in Throne Speech


June 3, 2011: CARP members welcome specific commitments to older Canadians in the Throne Speech but want more and rely on Official Opposition to press for improvements

TORONTO, ON: CARP members would welcome the specific commitments to older Canadians in the Throne Speech and will watch for fulfillment of government promises in the new Budget on Monday. Nevertheless, they will be relying on Official Opposition to press for improvements.

In particular, CARP members will welcome the specific confirmation of the March budget measures to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement [GIS], provide a caregiver’s tax credit, removing the cap on medial expenses eliminating mandatory retirement and advancing on providing a retirement savings vehicle – as well as increased sentencing for elder abuse which was added during the election.

In CARP Polls™ issued this week and just following the election, CARP members were pleased with the election results – they got the decisive majority they wanted. And since all the political parties made promises to address pension reform, caregiver support, poverty among pensioners and elder abuse, they are expecting that Parliament will move quickly on these pressing issues. [Survey is available at: Please scroll down and hit “see results”]

However, when the specific promises were compared, they liked what the government had promised in its election platform and March 22 budget, but they want more, typically those options promised by the opposition parties

On pensions, members want to see the CPP doubled and a publicly-administered pension option instead of private sector Pooled Registered Pension Plans (PRPPs)

On caregiver support, members want to see a refundable tax credit of $1,500 to caregivers instead of a non-refundable tax credit of $300

On GIS, members want to see the government spend whatever it takes to lift all seniors out of poverty instead of a one-time boost of $300 million in the GIS for the poorest seniors

In each case, the majority of members say it is “extremely” or “very” important that the government support their preferred option, and in every case, a majority says they will support the opposition if the government does not support their position.

“A government with a decisive majority might be tempted to think that it does not need to improve on its election promises – that would be incorrect. CARP members were encouraged by the unprecedented attention paid in this election to issues that resonate with older Canadians but they also expect the promises to be fulfilled. Further, CARP members polled said the government proposals were good but the opposition proposals were better. So why be satisfied with the least of the options? They will be looking to government, with pressure from the Official Opposition to press for the degree of change that will significantly improve the quality of life for all Canadians as we age”, said Susan Eng, VP, Advocacy for CARP.

CARP is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to advocating for a New Vision of Aging for Canada, social change that will bring financial security, equitable access to health care and freedom from discrimination. CARP seeks to ensure that the marketplace serves the needs and expectations of our generation and provides value-added benefits, products and services to our members. Through our network of chapters across Canada, CARP is dedicated to building a sense of community and shared values among our members in support of CARP’s mission.