Budget fails to provide leadership on job creation, health care or seniors

OTTAWA – New Democrat Seniors Critic Irene Mathyssen says the government’s budget falls far short of meeting the needs of low income seniors in this country.

“The budget failed to increase Old Age Security benefits and strengthen public pensions,” said Mathyssen. “Nor did it include an affordable housing, home care or pharmacare plan. These measures would go a long way to address the needs of seniors living on the edge of poverty in our country.”

“The conservative budget falls far short of meeting the needs of low income seniors in this country,” argued Mathyssen. “The conservative plan to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) by a mere $50 a month for single seniors, and 70$ a month for couples will not pull those seniors in need up out of poverty. These women and men have worked long and hard to build the Canadian economy and to raise our families. They deserve our respect and should never face retirement with economic insecurity.”

Mathyssen argued that a strong investment in seniors benefits all Canadian as it reduces the strain on families struggling to support them, keeps seniors healthier and eases the burden on our health care system.

“The majority of Canadians rejected the Conservative platform in the last election,” said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton. “This continued emphasis on tax giveaways to the most profitable corporations over targeted job creation is not what Canadian families need right now.”

“Draining the treasury by billions of dollars every year helping out profitable oil companies and banks won’t guarantee a single new job is created,” said Layton. “It does guarantee money will be drained away from the things Canadians count on every day, like health care and infrastructure.”

Though disappointed with the budget’s lack of help for families, Layton did welcome the decision for reinstating the EcoEnergy Home Retrofit Program – a measure that New Democrats had asked for in previous budget discussions.