THE SANDWICH GENERATION IS FEELING THE SQUEEZE, IT IS TIME TO HELP
April 6th, 2011 - 2:59am
Many working families are caring for their parents at home while also raising their children – putting an enormous strain on already stretched family budgets. And predominantly, its Canadian women who end up with the role of caregiver to both children and older parents, says NDP Status of Women Critic Irene Mathyssen.
"Too many of the baby boomer generation watched their retirement savings all but evaporate in the recession. This has left them with no retirement security and no means of providing for their own care if they fall ill. In fact, in the last year one in four Canadian families was forced to look after seriously ill loved ones – some were even forced to drain their child’s education fund just to get by. It has happened in London, and in communities all across this country," Mathyssen said.
After five years of Stephen Harper, too many Canadian families are left to fend for themselves when parents become ill and family budgets get stretched.
No wonder these sandwiched families feel Ottawa is broken – but Irene Mathyssen says it is past time these families are given a break, and the New Democrats have a plan to help.
The New Democrat plan will:
Introduce an Intergenerational Home Forgivable Loan Program, to help families renovate their homes to care for an aging relative.
Create a new Caregiver benefit – to help a family member caring for an ailing relative. Families will be able to receive up to $1500 per year.
Extend and improve the EI Compassionate Care Benefit to 6 months, from the current 6-week benefit – including streamlining the application process and expanding eligibility.
Restore fairness to the EI system and fix the loophole that denies EI benefits to women who take maternal leave and others who receive special EI benefits, and later lose their jobs.