Our Government remains committed to ensuring we put the needs of Canadian families and seniors first and continues to focus on strengthening Canadian communities from coast to coast to coast.
Canadian seniors have helped make Canada the country we know and love today. We believe they need to be supported while also ensuring a sustainable retirement for all Canadians.
Our Conservative government wants to ensure that Old Age Security (OAS) is available for future generations.
That is why the Conservative Government is adjusting the OAS program while ensuring those using it are not affected. Between 2023 and 2029, the eligibility for OAS and GIS benefits will gradually rise from 65 to 67.
In 1975 there were seven working taxpayers for every senior. Because our population is getting older, today there are only four working-age Canadians for each senior. By 2030, the total number of seniors will nearly double, leaving only two working-age Canadians for each senior. Amidst these changing demographics, the annual cost of the Old Age Security program is projected to increase from $36 billion in 2010 to $108 billion in 2030.
In short, the cost of Old Age Security is going up quickly and the number of working Canadians to pay for it is going down significantly. If changes are not made, the program will disappear completely.
Since 2006, the Conservative Government has provided $2.5 billion in annual tax relief to seniors – which removed over 380,000 seniors from the tax rolls - including:
- Introducing pension income splitting;
- Doubling the Pension Income Credit to $2,000 and increasing the Age Credit amount by $2,000;
- Increasing the amount GIS recipients can earn through employment without any reduction in GIS benefits (from $500 to $3,500);
- Increasing the age limit for RRSP-to-RRIF conversion to 71 from 69;
- Establishing the landmark Tax-Free Savings Account—which is particularly beneficial for seniors;
- Introducing the largest GIS increase in over 25 years meaning that low-income seniors now receive additional annual benefits of up to $600 for single seniors and $840 for couples—helping more than 680,000 seniors across Canada;
- taking steps to combat elder abuse; and
- Introducing other measures such as the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers and the elimination of the mandatory retirement age for federally-regulated employees giving seniors the freedom to remain in the workforce if they want to.
Supporting Families & Communities
Canadians have made it clear that families and communities are a priority, our Conservative Government agrees. That is why we have introduced things such as benefits and tax credits to give families a break, and aid communities across Canada.
Some of the things that our Government has done to help Alberta families and communities, and those across the country are:
• Delivering the Family Caregiver Tax Credit and the Children’s Arts Tax Credit in 2011;
• Delivering the Volunteer Firefighters Tax Credit in 2011;
• Extending the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes Program in 2011, reducing the burden of high energy costs for families;
• Delivering increased Employment Insurance (EI) parental benefits for adoptive parents in 2012;
• Delivering the new Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children to begin in 2013, allowing eligible parents to take time away from work to cope with their loss;
• Providing families with more choices at low prices for wireless services by amending the Telecommunications Act;
• Delivering enhanced support for Canadian summer sports in 2011 through Sport Canada’s Sport Support Program in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games;
• Delivering support for Canadian athletes through the Athlete Assistance Program in 2011;
• Supporting KidSport in 2011, giving more children the opportunity to participate in sports in our communities;
• Investing in War of 1812 commemorations across the country to celebrate the 200th anniversary;
• Modernizing the Canada Travelling Exhibitions Indemnifications Program, supporting major exhibitions at Canadian museums and galleries;
• Delivering support for Her Majesty the Queen of Canada’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012;
• Providing $5 million in 2011 to support the anniversaries of the Grey Cup and the Calgary Stampede;
• Providing $15 million in 2011 to the Canada Periodical Fund, supporting a broad range of publications;
• Providing approximately $99 million over three years to assist Canada’s affected provinces and territories with the cost of permanent flood mitigation measures undertaken for the 2011 floods.
It is through initiatives such as these, our Government remains committed to seniors, families and communities across this great country. We will continue to make these our top priority in the years ahead.