Response to budget cuts

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Dear Editor,

Are you prepared to give up $13,000 during your golden years? MP Peter Braid and Prime Minister Stephen Harper think you are. That’s what the average Canadian will have to give up thanks to the federal budget introduced by the Conservative Party last week.

The Budget cuts retirement benefits by raising the age of eligibility for Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement from 65 to 67 years, forcing Canadians to postpone their retirement for 2 years. For low income seniors it’s even worse. They stand to lose up to $30,000 which could hike seniors’ poverty by up third.

It’s a massive hit to the least-well off. It’s mean-spirited and it’s wrong.

The Conservatives offered zero financial analysis to justify the cut because there is none. The OECD, the Parliamentary Budget Officer and other leading experts have all confirmed that Canada does not face a pension crisis.

The Conservatives are also using the Budget making deep ideological cuts. They are cutting $7.5 million from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, $6.7 million from the Auditor General of Canada and $320 million from international development aid.

How skewed are these priorities? Take a look at what the government is not cutting: polls, advertising, bigger jails and stealth fighters.

Canadians should be asking Stephen Harper and Peter Braid how they can justify such a small-minded Canada.

Yours sincerely,

Bob Rae, Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada

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