NDP’s Irene Mathyssen stands up against Harper’s plans to roll back OAS

London – New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen (London-Fanshawe, Critic for Seniors Issues) hosted a public townhall meeting with seniors at her constituency office this morning to talk about the facts and dispel the misinformation Conservatives are giving the public about Stephen Harper’s plan to raise the OAS eligibility age from 65 to 67.

Londoners had many questions and concerns they brought to Mathyssen's attention on issues including; healthcare, affordable housing, and prescription drug costs. But the biggest issue on everyone's mind was the Conservative proposal to change OAS eligibility rules and the need to provide adequate, stable retirement income for Canada's seniors.  

 “Stephen Harper claims Canadians have to work two years longer because there isn’t enough money for OAS, meanwhile he’s dished out $60 billion and counting for his corporate tax cuts, has another $30 billion for fighter jets and billions more for his mega-prisons agenda while Canada’s crime rate is dropping,” Mathyssen said. “It’s outrageous.”

Mathyssen, along with New Democrat MPs Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe and Wayne Martson, are touring the country, seeking practical solutions to help our aging population — without hurting retirement security. Mathyssen has visited Victoria, Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Toronto already and will be visiting more communities in March.

“I’ve spoken to too many seniors who are already struggling to get by,” Mathyssen said. “Harper’s plan to change the OAS will make it even harder for them to make ends meet — while leaving younger Canadians wondering if they can afford to retire.”

“The Parliamentary Budget Officer, the Chief Actuary of the OAS program itself, and other experts have been clear: the OAS is sustainable in the long-term,” Mathyssen said. “New Democrats have offered a practical, positive plan to strength the CPP for all Canadians, because the CPP offers reliable, stable retirement security. The Conservatives response? A “Registered Pooled Pension Plan” that does nothing except ask people to trust the same market forces that saw millions of RRSP investment disappear over the past four years. That isn’t retirement security, it is rolling the dice with people’s savings. That’s just wrong!”

“The Conservatives are scaring seniors and asking Canadians to delay retirement for two years and give up retirement security so their friends on Bay Street can gamble with our money and so the Harper government can pay for their out-of-touch priorities.”