Dreeshen criticizes CPP reform

MP speaks out in House of Commons

Red Deer-Mountain View MP Earl Dreeshen spoke out against proposed Canadian Pension Plan reform on Friday saying it would fail to benefit seniors needing help today.

Bill C-26 would gradually increase mandatory contributions to the public plan as a way to boost the program’s benefits for future generations of retirees.

“It’s going to take 40 years to be fully implemented so there are going to be no benefits for seniors needed today. There are certainly other things that can be done and should be done that are higher priority,” Dreeshen said from Ottawa after speaking on the bill in the House of Commons on Friday.

He said government should instead increase the guaranteed income supplement and reduce taxes. They should increase allowable annual contributions to tax-free savings accounts rather than what they did which was roll back the maximum amount to $5,500 from $10,000.

“(Liberals) said only the rich can be involved. That’s not what the statistics said. It was small business people, it was seniors that were taking dollars and putting them into these programs. It was young people that were doing it.”

Bill C-26 would increase the benefits retirees receive, increase how much income is eligible for CPP coverage and raise monthly premiums for employees and employers.

The average employee would pay an additional $7 a month in 2019, increasing to $34 a month by 2023.

Benefit payments of almost $17,000 a year, up from about $13,000 now, would be available for those who contributed to the enhanced plan for about 40 years.

Dreeshen said increasing the premiums will hurt the economy by reducing employment, business investment, the GDP and disposable incomes.

CPP was never intended to be a retirement plan, he added.

“It was just something to augment things. We’ve got old age security that is there to help. We’ve got guaranteed investment plans.

“What we need to do is to find ways of encouraging people to understand how to maximize dollars they are trying to save on their own. If they are is problem for that three or four percent of seniors that are actually below the poverty line, let’s make sure we’ve got an economy that’s running to do better things for them.”

— With files from The Canadian Press

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