The Future of Old Age Security (OAS)
There has been much concern and confusion in recent days regarding the future of Old Age Security, one of two important programs that provide financial support to older Canadians. The other is the Canada Pension Plan. CPP is funded through premiums that working Canadians pay with each paycheque and is on a secure and sustainable path. However, OAS, which is funded primarily through taxes on working people, is unsustainable on its current course. Simply put, with an ever-growing older population, in 20 years we will have twice the number of people on OAS costing three times as much as it does, being paid for by one half the number of people paying now; our children and grandchildren. That’s why something needs to be done. Many countries have raised the retirement age from 65 to 67. It has not yet been determined what steps our government will take to address the situation but we will take balanced, responsible and prudent action to ensure OAS remains sustainable, while at the same time ensuring that seniors maintain the benefits they currently receive. We will also ensure any changes are done in a way that is fair for Canadians who are near retirement. You can read more on my website www.bevshipley.ca
Electo Motive Diesel in London
My heart goes out to the workers and their families, including some from Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, who have lost their jobs. Contrary to some media reports, EMD received no federal dollars and there was no federal legislation which would have allowed us to intervene. The Prime Minister did make an announcement at EMD in 2008 which doubled the capital cost depreciation tax credit for companies purchasing EMD locomotives. This actually benefited Canadian companies and protected jobs at EMD in particular. That being said, I feel what Caterpillar in the U-S did is outrageous and reprehensible. Greed was the driving factor, as we all know, and the workers stood up for what they felt was right. I commend all of them for that. My staff and I will do whatever we can to assist them with their Employment Insurance claims and to make sure they can access all government programs which will help them in job searches, skills training and education.
The Long-Gun Registry will soon be Long Gone
We’ve had a lot of calls and emails lately from people wondering when will the wasteful and inefficient long-gun registry finally be gone? We took an important step forward this week getting the bill to third and final reading. Bill C-19 will then head for the Senate and we expect it will be passed very soon.
Free Tax Guide on the Way
Watch your mailbox. My free tax guide is on the way, packed full of helpful information to ensure you receive all the tax deductions and benefits you are entitled to. You can take a sneak peek at it on my website www.bevshipley.ca Filing on time eliminates the possibility of interest and penalties and ensures you receive any tax refund sooner. It is also important to file on time if you are in receipt of benefits, like the Guaranteed Income Supplement or Child Tax Benefit. As some payments are dependent on the most recent income information in your tax return, late filers are commonly subject to audits to prevent fraud of the system. For more information on filing your taxes, and for income tax forms, visit the Canada Revenue Agency website at www.cra.gc.ca Prefer the paper version? You can pick those up at your post office. If you need help filling out your income tax form, the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, courtesy of the CRA, can help. Volunteer Tax Preparation Clinics run in many communities, including Glencoe, Parkhill and Strathroy from March 1st to April 30th. More details can be found on the Canada Revenue Agency website.
Until next time,
Bev Shipley, M.P. Lambton-Kent-Middlesex