March 23, 2012: CARP members are equally likely to believe the individual has the primary responsibility for his or her retirement security as they are to believe this is equally the responsibility of the individual and the state.
Members favour reducing military jet purchases, raising taxes on the wealthy, canceling the planned expansion of parliament and ending the practice of hosting international conferences as preferred ways to trim federal spending and ensure continued OAS funding. They insist the government has not explained its rationale for changing OAS adequately.
Members are six times more likely to believe Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page’s assertion that OAS is sustainable as they are to believe the government that it is not. Nevertheless, they agree their children and grandchildren won’t enjoy the retirement they themselves have.
Members agree pension security for future generations should be strengthened, not weakened now, and they agree the government must do more for youth employment through apprenticeships, stimulus spending and keeping high value jobs in Canada.
CARP members agree that improving retirement security for all generations is good because it leads to economic productivity and social harmony. They fear a host of other ‘nips and tucks’ to pension benefits if the OAS change is allowed to happen. Members consider CARP their best source of information on pension reform.
Members are more than twice as likely to agree enhancements to CPP will be a more effective solution to pension reform than PRPPs. While they do not agree the provinces should set up their own CPP-like system, they do agree the provinces should pressure Ottawa to enhance CPP.
Budget areas where members do not particularly object to cuts include disaster and famine relief, the military and Veterans’ Affairs, whereas they do not want to see cuts to health care and public pensions.
On average, members take about 2.7 prescriptions and spend about $1100 on their out-of-pocket medication costs out of an estimated total cost of about $3100. Three quarters find their medication costs affordable. It should be noted that a disproportionately large number of members are from Ontario, which may not be representative of the other provinces in terms of drug benefits.
Members would consider, on average, just less than $5000 a year in medication costs, or about 13% of household income as “catastrophic” costs.
Members are very willing to go to a pharmacist for routine medical procedures and injections.
The Conservative Party has stalled at about 40% voter preference, trailed by the Liberals at about 35% and the NDP at 20%, which is the default setting for CARP member voting intention.