Posted: Tuesday, 22 March 2011
OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress is urging all parties in the House of Commons to consider the federal budget for what it can do for Canadians most in need of help.
“We in the labour movement are judging this budget on whether it will improve the economic security of Canadians,” says CLC President Ken Georgetti.
Georgetti says that the CLC has pushed hard for an increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) paid to 1.6 million low income seniors. “Minister Flaherty has made a modest improvement to the GIS in this budget. This is a win for every senior living in poverty in Canada and we're proud to have played a significant role in that campaign on their behalf.”
But Georgetti says the GIS should not be the long-term solution to seniors’ poverty. “The best way to provide retirement security for Canadians is to improve the Canada Pension Plan. We want a firm commitment from this government for a gradual and fully-funded doubling of Canada Pension Plan benefits. We want a time line for implementation, as soon as the required amending formula is reached.”
Georgetti says that the CLC wants the government to invest in programs that help to create a stronger economy with good family-supporting jobs, and wants Ottawa to do more to help the unemployed. “I am pleased with announcements in the budget about extending work sharing programs, EI pilot projects, support for laid-off older workers, and improving wage protection for laid-off workers.”
While welcoming a one year, $400 million home retrofit program, Georgetti said “much more remains to be done to get unemployed Canadians back to work.” He expressed concern about where the axe may fall following unspecified plans to cut an additional $4 billion per year from federal government spending.
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 130 district labour councils. Web site: www.canadianlabour.ca
Contact: Dennis Gruending, CLC Communications, 613-878-6040 (mobile)