The 2022 Fall Economic Statement, released November 3 outlines the government’s plan to “continue to help Canadians with the cost of living and building a Canada where nobody gets left behind.”
CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy agency on behalf of Canadians aged 65 and above is concerned that very little in the update is directed at older Canadians. According to Statistics Canada, the number of seniors aged 65 and older is growing 6x faster than children 0-14. As well, the number of persons aged 85 and older has doubled since 2001, reaching 861,000 in 2021. According to population projections, this number could triple by 2046.
Bill VanGorder comments, “Older Canadians are a growing economic and politically influential group. The needs of older Canadians are increasingly relevant and significant as our population ages. They are a growing economic and politically influential group. We’d expect to see far more in the budget update directed at older Canadians. Most of what we did see were repeat announcements.”
None of the key demands CARP brought before the Federal Finance Committee last fall were implemented:
- That the government boost Old Age Security (“OAS”) by 10% for people 65 to 74.
- That the government increase the Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”) Survivor Benefit by 25% for people 65 and older—from 60% to 75% and remove the benefit ceiling that negatively impacts a surviving spouse.
- That the government eliminate current mandatory RRIF withdrawal rules.
- That the government amend the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to give pensioners ‘super-priority’ status and create a pension insurance program that insures 100% of pension liabilities.
- That the government make the Canada Caregiver Tax Credit a refundable tax credit, or a rebate.
- That the government commit to preventive care by fully funding three leading vaccines for all adults over age 65, for high-dose flu, the new (and more effective) shingles vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine.
CARP is pleased to see:
- The $4 billion over six years, beginning in 2023, towards automatic advance payments of the Canada Workers Benefit. Many older Canadians are still in the workplace.
- The $1.02 billion to Service Canada to process Employment Insurance (EI) and Old Age Security (OAS) claims faster will be meaningful for those in our demographic who receive OAS.
- The support for those impacted by Hurricane Fiona. In rural Atlantic Canada, seniors, were especially hit hard, particularly in rural areas.
- The launching of negotiations with payment card networks, financial institutions, acquirers, payment processors, and businesses to lower credit card transaction fees for small businesses through amendments to the Payment Cards Networks.
SOURCE: CARP, Canada’s largest advocacy agency on behalf of Canadians aged 65 and above.