It’s been a week since the federal budget was tabled and we are still aghast at the scope of the changes being proposed. This budget is a purely ideological and political one, ruled by the neoliberal obsession with what’s good for business.
For the Harper government, the State must be stripped to a bare minimum and only provide basic services to the public. All barriers to trade and business must be removed, even at the expense of people’s health, the environment, culture and the less fortunate.
This pro-business government has always been after the same targets: wages, benefits and pension funds. This budget was no different. The government announced it was raising the age of eligibility for Old Age Security from 65 to 67. Who will this affect? Mainly women and low-income earners. This government is slashing spending everywhere, while investing blindly in the military.
Federal public servants will gradually have to increase their contributions to their pension fund to 50%. As for new employees, they will have to wait until they reach age 65 to retire without penalty. The government will also be holding discussions with crown corporations, such as Canada Post, to determine how this model can be applied everywhere. This means we will have to monitor the government’s actions closely.
Yet the solution to the pension situation is simple: double the Canada Pension Plan payments , which is a universal program. Labour has been putting this solution forward for more than two years now. But the Harper government is just not listening. It wants to favour the well-to-do first and foremost. Labour is demanding a national summit on the issue.
We must fight back! That is why the Union is calling on all members to publicly demonstrate their opposition to the Harper government’s uncaring measures on May Day. This government is clamping down on the public’s basic rights in the same way it attacked our right to strike last year. We want a fair and equitable society. On May Day, let us make it clear to the 1%.
We are part of the 99%.
The struggle continues.In solidarity,