Thursday, March 29, 2012

Flaherty to seniors on #OAS



At the 1:30 mark and onwards, Flaherty gives an answer on his OAS age eligibility increase that is receiving some attention tonight. Two callers to the CPAC call-in show that ended at 10:00 p.m. EST remarked on Flaherty's comment being rude. In tone, the way he emphasized the word "poor" may have drawn attention to what he was saying. Basically, he said that those who would still need OAS at 65 will have to go on provincial assistance, i.e., welfare. He said it so matter of factly and without any sensitivity. The kicker is this:
The long-rumoured change is already raising concerns about generational fairness, as well as the impact it will have on Canada’s poor.

It also applies to the Guaranteed Income Supplement, a benefit geared to low-income Canadians that is administered as an add-on to OAS. Ottawa is promising to compensate provinces for the fact that this change will impose two years of additional welfare costs for Canada’s poor, though welfare is generally less generous than the combination of federal OAS and GIS.
That's the choice that Flaherty has made and presented, in the above interview, so condescendingly. As if just making the necessary financial arrangements with the provinces in order to hand off this burden is the central point.

As pointed out repeatedly today, however, there will be a few chances to turf the Conservatives prior to the OAS eligibility change kicking in.