29 March 2012 | Media release
“The Harper government claims it has introduced a jobs budget, but it actually projects a higher unemployment rate this year than last year,” says Ken Neumann, USW’s National Director for Canada.
OTTAWA, 29 March, 2012 – Eliminating the penny won’t distract from the Harper Conservatives’ deep cuts to important public services, jobs and retirement security, the United Steelworkers (USW) union says.
"The Harper government claims it has introduced a jobs budget, but it actually projects a higher unemployment rate this year than last year," noted Ken Neumann, USW’s National Director for Canada.
"Conservative cuts will directly eliminate 19,200 jobs from the delivery of public services, and remove funding that helps support thousands of private-sector jobs," Neumann said.
The Conservative budget also raises the eligibility age for Old Age Security from 65 to 67 between 2023 and 2029 – even though the Parliamentary Budget Officer and other experts have confirmed that the existing program is fiscally sustainable.
"Making Canadians wait longer for Old Age Security will push tens of thousands of seniors into poverty and onto provincial welfare rolls," said Neumann. "The government should be enhancing the Canada Pension Plan rather than cutting Old Age Security."
The Conservative budget also sets the stage for further weakening of environmental standards and the Employment Insurance system, which under the Harper government already fails hundreds of thousands of Canadians.