Question Period: Why Won't Minister Reveal Supposed Cost Saving on OAS?

Lysane Blanchette-Lamothe: Pierrefonds—Dollard, QC

Mr. Speaker, after scandals and ethical problems, this government refuses to be transparent about old age security. Even though thousands of Canadians are worried about their golden years, the minister continues to turn a deaf ear. She refuses to say how much this government will save on the backs of the most vulnerable seniors by pushing the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.

Will the minister finally stop hiding information and start telling the whole truth about this unacceptable measure?

Diane Finley: Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the truth is that no senior will feel the effects of the changes to the old age security program because the changes do not start until 2023.

Changes to OAS are all about the long-term sustainability of that particular program.

Irene Mathyssen: London—Fanshawe, ON

Mr. Speaker, the minister keeps trying to confuse the issue and divert attention away from the fact that the Conservatives are raising the age for OAS. This is a move that will only punish the poorest seniors, the most vulnerable. However, the minister is silent on how much money will be unfairly taken away from tomorrow's seniors.

Canadians of all ages are wondering why the government is hiding the numbers. Will the minister stand up and tell Canadians exactly how much this punitive measure is supposed to save?

Diane Finley: Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

Mr. Speaker, the changes to OAS are not part of the deficit reduction program that this government is bringing in now to ensure we get back to a balanced budget in the near future. We are talking 10 years out or more before these changes come into effect. We need to face the fact that Canadians are living longer. Where life expectancy used to be 68, it is now closer to 85. Many Canadians are working longer by choice. We want to ensure the old age security system is there when they retire and for future generations.