Publications, opinions, and speeches

Caledon

Caledon Response to Liberal Poverty Strategy

Published on 14/11/2007

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy applauds Liberal leader Stéphane Dion’s November 9, 2007 speech laying out his party’s poverty reduction strategy.  It recognizes poverty as a serious national problem that needs political leadership and an explicit focus to achieve clear results.

Caledon offers some additional or alternative proposals, including:

  • to properly set and monitor poverty reduction targets, devise a better poverty indicator than the current low income cut-offs
  • rather than simply converting the non-refundable child tax credit to a refundable credit, as suggested in the Dion speech, the federal government should abolish the Universal Child Care Benefit and the child tax credit, using the savings to help build a stronger Canada Child Tax Benefit
  • immediately bolster the federal Working Income Tax Benefit (WITB), but in future expand it from a federal-only to a joint federal-provincial/territorial undertaking.  WITB should be made more flexible to allow each province and territory to adapt the program to its needs and circumstances, and to integrate it with its welfare system
  • provide specifics and associated costs on the proposal to increase Guaranteed Income Supplement payments for the lowest income seniors
  • base the income test for the clawback of Old Age Security benefits from upper-income senior couples on their combined income rather than on each spouse or partner’s individual income
  • to encourage seniors and near-seniors who can and want to continue working to do so, eliminate the ‘employment test’ for receipt of a CPP retirement pension before age 65. Also, allow CPP beneficiaries receiving a retirement pension but still working to continue to contribute to the plan, with the additional earnings taken into account each year in re-calculating their pensions

ISBN – 1-55382-263-3

Summary

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy applauds Liberal leader Stéphane Dion’s November 9, 2007 speech laying out his party’s poverty reduction strategy.

Topic(s)

Income security, Poverty