Publications, opinions, and speeches
Green Light, Red Flag: Caledon Statement on the Social Security Review
Published on 20/10/1994
The Caledon Institute supports the drive to reform social programs and to direct more resources towards improving the education and employment skills of Canadians. Green Light, Red Flag goes beyond the federal Discussion Paper and makes concrete proposals for a comprehensive package of reforms. Under the Caledon reforms, Unemployment Insurance would revert to a social insurance program for Canadians who are unemployed on a short-term and occasional basis. Community economic development would help create employment for seasonal workers. Experience rating would be introduced to penalize employers who use the UI system inappropriately. Frequent UI claimants would be referred to a new employment assistance program that would provide both income support and a range of training and other employment services. Employable welfare recipients also would have access to this program. Child benefits would be enhanced substantially in order to reduce child poverty; children from families on social assistance would have their benefits paid outside the welfare system through a new, integrated child benefit that also would serve children from working families. Children’s services would be financed through new federal legislation that would fund child development, child care, child welfare and family supports. The remaining monies in the Canada Assistance Plan would be directed towards personal supports for persons with disabilities and the elderly.
The ‘red flag’ in the Caledon Statement refers to the fiscal straightjacket that threatens the Social Security Review and to the fact that successful reforms to social programs require a strong and stable labour market. Caledon argues that the Social Security Review is too narrow in scope: It leaves off the reform table both the pension system and social benefits delivered through the income tax system – which cost far more than the expenditures on Unemployment Insurance, welfare, child benefits and the other programs covered in the Discussion Paper.
ISBN – 1-895796-23-7