Delayed OAS ‘aging people into poverty’

“If you are a miner, or if you have a difficult mental job ….. These people, they need to retire because they can’t perform anymore.”

Like VanGorder, Cada also criticized the amount of money that would be lost by those forced to wait an extra two years to receive benefits. “That’s a big loss.”

The federal government said it was making the change to counter the high costs of benefits being provided to an aging Canadian population. When fully implemented, it is estimated the change will save Ottawa almost $11 billion per year.

Gord Wilson, VanGorder’s New Brunswick association counterpart, hopes the feds haven’t ignored those who would be harmed by the OAS changes.

“That is where the issue is, with those whose health is not good and they are forced to stop working earlier. What’s going to happen to them? ” Wilson said in an interview from Fredericton.

“If it is going to be a carte blanche, you’re going to have to wait an extra two years right across the board and no considerations are going to be made for the exceptions and the ones it’s going to hurt, then it’s a bad policy.”

He fears Ottawa is merely making across-the-board cuts without identifying waste.

“Is this just an easy way to solve budget problems without looking at some other wastes?” he asked. “That’s what maddening.”

VanGorder said his association argues for “free choice” and that doesn’t appear to be happening.

“This isn’t giving people a choice. It’s forcing people who can least afford it. One senior said to me he feels the federal government has just turned off the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

© The Chronicle Herald