Budget 2016 short on dollars, long on discussion





March 22, 2015

Toronto, ON: The Liberal government released its first budget and CARP’s VP of Advocacy and COO, Wanda Morris, was in the stakeholder lockup to see firsthand what budget 2016 has to offer for older Canadians. 

CARP members and supporters across Canada had joined CARP’s Feet to the Fire Campaign and called on the newly elected federal government to take action on its election promises to increase the GIS for single, low – income seniors, roll back the eligibility age for OAS, establish a Seniors’ Index, invest $ 3 billion in home care, and expand the EI compassionate care benefits for caregivers.

CARP welcomed its first victory of the campaign last week with the announcement of the roll back of age eligibility for Old Age Security to 65.

CARP members will be pleased that two measures have been taken to help Canada’s poorest seniors: an increase in the GIS benefit of up to $947 and a pledge of $ 200 million for seniors housing. They’ll also welcome the steps taken to improve funding and support for veterans

But CARP was disappointed that on many other issues, seniors were given promises for the future rather than immediate action from the new government. 

The new government has pledged consultations to review the compassionate caregiver benefit over the term of its mandate and enhancements to CPP by the end of 2017.

Wanda Morris noted:

“Canada is facing a looming retirement security crisis.  With the percentage of Canadians over 65 projected to grow dramatically, fewer Canadians having access to workplace pensions and those pensions themselves becoming less valuable, urgent action is needed to improve funded retirement benefits for Canadians.  

We will continue to hold the government’s feet to the fire to ensure effective solutions are created that will allow all Canadians to live with dignity no matter their age, pocket book or postal code.”

On the healthcare front, the government has pledged an investment in healthcare innovation.

Wanda Morris noted:

“Our members and supporters will be pleased with the commitment to healthcare innovation but concerned that $39 million over three years will not be nearly sufficient to fund the improvements needed.  Our community will be even more concerned that changes to the cost and accessibility of prescription drugs and improved access to homecare will be discussed rather than funded.”

Wanda Morris is available for interview.

Please Contact Anna Sotnykova for scheduling at 416-607-2475 or [email protected]