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Harper’s Pension Reform: Necessary?

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has an ongoing campaign about the MP pension fund and said Wednesday that MPs have their snouts in the pension trough.As a part of Harper’s announced “major transformations,” the retirement age will be increased to 67 from 65. The argument is that our current Old Age Security system is unsustainable but when you look at the way the Conservatives manage your money and when you look at their pensions, you just have to wonder if it is necessary.

MP pensions get a 23-to-1 contributor ratio – as in for every dollar they put aside $23 comes out of our pockets. You will be lucky if you get a 5-to-1 ratio in the private sector.

The Canadian Taxpayer Federation estimates that an ordinary working Canadian “would need to save $129,000 per year over six years to provide the same retirement benefit.”

However, while the Conservatives plan to change our pensions and reduce the fruits of our labor, not only do they get luxurious pensions that Canadians will never dream of seeing, they also get to retire a good 10 years earlier.

PM Stephen Harper will retire with a pension of $223,500 per year, Liberal interim leader Bob Rae would get $71,400, 19 year old NDP MP Pierre-Luc Dusseault would get a pension of $40,000 per year if he retired at 27. Are any of you able to do that? Why should you accept that your retirement be first on the chopping block?

We are facing the highest numbers of senior poverty on record and that number is only expected to climb. To think that many people in this country lived dignified and honest lives to work and be overtaxed and then try to retire and end in poverty. And to think that future generations will be even more overtaxed and be punished for retiring.

If we look at how this “prudent” Conservative government has managed the money, we see a very ugly sight. We see an endless list of misplaced priorities and abuse, including $50 million for gazebos, luxurious hotels for Peter Mackay, and shifted priority to American-style prisons and F-35 fighter jets.

All the while, it summed to Canada’s worst economic state since Brian Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives left office in the early 1990s.

Before you increase retirement age and cut pensions of ordinary people Mr. Harper, we better see MP pensions decimated, senators laid off and a freeze on MP salaries, and this is just the beginning. Before you attack the work force, the families and the individuals, be sure to get rid of your oversized and wasteful bureaucracy - which is not only the largest its been in history, but also due to your government. Let's not go back to the feudal days of kings and peasants, we all know how that worked out.

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