OTTAWA, December 18, 2012 (Marketwire) — The President of the Canadian Labour Congress says he is deeply disappointed that the country's Finance Ministers have once again failed to move forward on improving the Canadian Pension Plan, but he says most provinces want CPP reform and he vows to continue working with them.
"I blame Ottawa for this," says CLC President Ken Georgetti. "Most provinces want to use the CPP to improve retirement pensions for Canadians but the federal government keeps stalling. This government is letting down millions of Canadians who are not able to save enough for a comfortable retirement."
Georgetti was responding to a meeting of Finance Ministers near Ottawa on December 16-17. At the conclusion, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said there was no consensus among provinces and there will be no immediate action on the CPP. He added that federal and provincial officials have been asked to do more study about what would constitute a "modest" increase in the CPP and to advise on the best timing for any increase.
"Mr. Flaherty said pretty well the same thing a year ago," Georgetti says. "Government officials did produce a study for this meeting that provided several workable options for enhancing the CPP. This is the time for action, not obstruction."
Georgetti says that Canadians are already facing a pensions crisis and that it will get worse. Sixty per cent of workers have no workplace pension, while one-third of Canadians between the ages of 24 and 64 have no personal retirement savings. "We have to do something about pensions and soon. If we don't act now, taxpayers in the future will have to spend billions of dollars more than they do today to support retirees living in poverty."
Ottawa also claims that the economy is too fragile to allow for any increased CPP contributions from workers and employers. Georgetti says, "The research provided by government officials for this meeting shows that the economic effect of increased contributions would be minimal, and also that Canada would still have a lower rate of payroll contributions that the U.S. and other OECD countries."
Georgetti vows that the CLC will continue to advocate for on behalf of all Canadians. "We believe that there is already enough support among the provinces to move forward on the CPP and we are going to be pushing hard for this to happen at the next Finance Ministers' meeting in June."
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.3 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils.© Copyright 2012 Canadian Labour Congress, All rights Reserved. Written For: StraightGoods.ca