Yesterday, Premier Brian Pallister and his Finance Minister embarrassed Manitobans on the national stage by not signing the agreement on an affordable and sustainable expansion of the Canadian Pension Plan, Finance Critic James Allum said today.
“Manitobans are embarrassed and disappointed that the Pallister government did not choose to set a tone of partnership and sound decision-making with other provinces,” said Allum. “The Conservatives chose to side with big business instead of hardworking families, women, seniors and minimum wage earners.”
The Manitoba NDP has consistently called on the federal government to expand the CPP. Almost two-thirds of the Canadian workforce doesn’t have a company pension plan, and a retired worker receives an average benefit of only $550 per month. A modest and phased-in expansion of the CPP is the best way to improve the retirement incomes of hard-working Manitoba families because of its universality, portability, secure investment returns and low management costs.
“Pallister cannot hide behind the excuse of being a new government,” said Allum. “Expanding the CPP has been discussed across Canada for a long time, with ample research and with three out of four Canadians supporting its expansion. This was clearly a deliberate tactic based on ideology rather than what’s best for Manitoba families.”
Many Canadians are finding it difficult to put money aside for retirement and are concerned for their future. Single seniors are at the highest risk of living below the poverty line and women have less income in retirement than men.
“Expanding the CPP will increase future benefits for all Manitobans in a way that’s affordable for everyone,” said Allum.