OUR VIEW: Changes to CPP needed

We say: We are living longer and drawing on pensions more

On Dec. 16 the Conservative federal government opted not to address the very urgent and growing problem that is the Canadian Pension Plan.

Instead of offering any sort of meaningful reform or choosing to adequately fund CPP so that Canadians can expect to be taken care of – after having spent a lifetime of paying taxes – the Conservatives instead opted to do nothing, and presumably hope the problem just goes away. It’s no secret that CPP is underfunded. And given the country’s demographics – with millions of Canadians facing retirement in coming years – this is an issue that can’t be put off any longer.

Seniors now make up close to 15 per cent of Canada’s population, totalling more than four4 million people. And with the median age in Canada now over 40 years old for the first time ever, the issue of our aging population and how to take care of them isn’t going away.

The issue is clear to see: Canadians are living longer, and as a result, drawing on CPP more than in generations past. As result, we need to do a better job of funding CPP if we want it to work. Finance minister Jim Flaherty needn’t worry about his own financial future, of course. As an MP who has served more than six years in the house of commons, Flaherty has a gold-plated taxpayer-funded pension to draw on for the rest of his life, upon his retirement.

The rest of us aren’t so lucky. Adequately funding CPP is the fiscally-responsible thing to do, but it is also politically difficult. As a result, the Conservatives have taken the easy way out, opting for the instant gratification of low taxes in the present at the cost of a stable future for our citizens. And isn’t that how we got into this mess in the first place?

– Black Press