Questioning the Minister: Old Age Security

The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the government has no plan for senior affordable housing, no plan for home care, no plan for long-term care and no responsible pension reform. The Conservatives march in here and say that they are going to cut the OAS. That is despicable.

Canadians want a clear from this bunch, especially those who have lost their jobs and are worried. Are the Conservatives going to protect the OAS, yes or no?

The Speaker: Order, please. I am sure the member appreciates the assistance when she comes to the end of her question, but I do not know if it adds to the debate here. I would ask members to ask their questions on their own and give answers on their own as well.

The hon. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.

Hon. Diane Finley (Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, CPC): Mr. Speaker, the NDP members cannot seem to make up their minds. On one side they say no, but on the other, the members says that she had warned us of the coming crisis.

We know there is a coming crisis in old age security and that is why we are taking steps now before it is too late. We do not want to burden future generations with massive tax increases to support OAS. We need to take steps now. It is the responsible thing to do.

Our population is aging and pretty soon we are going to have three times the cost of OAS payments to make with only half the working population to support it. That is not enough. We have to act now.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, that is categorically untrue. The PBO said that the OAS is sustainable. The only--

The Speaker: Order, please. The hon. member for London—Fanshawe.

Ms. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP): Mr. Speaker, the PBO is clear, experts are clear, the OAS is sustainable. Now Canadians would like an answer from the government, especially those who have lost their jobs. They cannot save for retirement now and they have no pension income. At the end of their careers, can they rely on the OAS to make ends meet?

Is the government going to make it harder for new Canadians and all Canadians to retire by changing the OAS, yes or no?