Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Canada Pension Plan reform stalls without Ottawa’s support
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty insists economy too fragile for premium increases
Ontario is ready to go ahead with pension reform on its own after Ottawa blocked a consensus on Canada Pension Plan reform.
At a news conference following a meeting with his provincial counterparts in Meech Lake, Que., federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said now is not the time to move on the pension issue . Flaherty said there was a “frank discussion” about CPP changes, but he believes the economy is too fragile.
“We believe that CPP payroll taxes can hurt the economy and distract from what truly matters for all Canadians — keeping our economy strong and our finances in a strong fiscal footing is the plan of this government,” Flaherty said.
“Now is the time for fiscal discipline. And that is why all governments must focus on encouraging job growth and getting their fiscal houses in order. Now is not a time for CPP payroll tax increases,” Flaherty said.
Two hours later, Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa issued a press release saying the province would implement a made-in-Ontario solution to the pension conundrum.
“Given today’s unfortunate stall tactic by the federal government, we will move forward to implement a made-in-Ontario alternative to protect Ontario workers in their retirement,” Sousa said.
He laid blame for the lack of consensus squarely at Flaherty’s door, saying the federal minister was stalling what could have been an agreement among the provinces.
“Doing nothing is not a solution to this problem and will not give Ontarians the security they need to retire. We have to act and that’s what Ontario will do,” Sousa said. (Source: CBC News)