December 21st, 2016

Liberals fail to fix flawed CPP expansion

NDP: Liberal government refused to take leadership to ensure protections are included in CPP expansion legislation so that women and people living with disabilities are not penalized.

OTTAWA – Earlier this week, Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau met with his provincial counterparts, but did not move forward on fixing the government’s CPP expansion legislation, which, in its current form, penalizes women and people living with disabilities. The NDP has been raising the alarm about the flawed legislation for weeks and Morneau signalled that in order to fix the bill, he would seek agreement from the provinces, but the meetings this week showed a lack of any progress on the file.

“The Finance Minister has suggested that he can’t fix his flawed bill because his hands are tied with the provinces, yet this week, the provincial ministers made it clear that it is unacceptable to exclude provisions in CPP which will penalize women and people living with disabilities,” said NDP Pensions Critic Scott Duvall. “The Provinces understand the problem. It’s a simple fix and yet the Liberals have been blocking every attempt to fix it for weeks.”

The NDP has put a spotlight on a flaw in the Liberals’ legislation on CPP expansion, Bill C-26, which does not contain the Child Rearing Drop-out Provision, yet despite the NDP’s numerous attempts to fix it, the Liberals refused to admit the mistake and refused to rectify it. The provisions exist in the current CPP in order to ensure that parents, mostly women, are not penalized for time taken out of the workforce to raise children. The Liberal bill also fails to replicate a similar existing drop-out provision for people that have received CPP disability benefits.

“Women already receive lower average CPP benefits than men, and if this mistake isn’t fixed this gender inequality will only get worse,” added Duvall. “The Liberals, who regularly talk about the importance of gender equality, must immediately recognize their mistake and take action to fix this bill. Enough excuses already.”