Thursday, January 26, 2012

Harper starts to show his true colours

Back in August I talked about how Harper would start to reframe the pension debate, as Harper has said that he will change the way we finance our pensions, perhaps it is time to consider taking some action. Here is part of what I said in August 2011

So why is Mr. Campbell raising the issue at this time, I think it is to start to frame the agenda so the right wing agenda of Mr. Harper and his supporters can shift public thinking to the idea that we have to be prepared to have less services and less income. (The following is taken from Why Stop Harper website)

Although seniors’ incomes have dropped for the first time in decades, it is clear the Harper government is laying the groundwork to replace Canada’s well-run, cost-effective, and stable CPP with a private, more expensive pension scheme – the Pooled Registered Pension Plan (PRPPMallick: “When Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, the government of Alberta and insurance giant Sun Life all agree that a national privatized pension plan is a great idea for your retirement, be very afraid. Feel your fear and let your anger flower.”

According to Sun Life Financial, Canadians are much less optimistic about retirement – and the average Canadian expects to retire at age 68, three years later than reported a year ago. The confidence level of working Canadians slumped to a low 39 in 2011, from 50 in 2008 and 51 in 2009. At the end of 2009, Canadians still believed recovery from the recession would be quicker than they now believe, but unemployment remained relatively high.

When older workers stay on the job it affects the labour market, resulting in fewer job openings and increased competition for younger people. Canada’s youth jobless rate is 14.4 per cent.

In the 2011 federal budget, responding to demands by the NDP, the government offered low-income seniors an extra $300 million annual enhancement to the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The NDP had requested $700 million.

The government ignored the NDP’s request for a doubling of CPP benefits.

Harper’s Income Trust “betrayal.” In 2005, Harper wrote: "Income trusts are popular with seniors because they provide regular payments that are used by many to cover the costs of groceries, heating bills and medicine." Then, without notice or consultation, he terminated them.

So to move along the agenda to reduce and attack Senior benefits, the right needs spokespeople on Radio, and TV (Corus radio and Dun tv) to start to frame the agenda on pension and health care so that over the next few years the public will start to believe the big lie (remember the right has learned from the past, while the left still believes in an honest approach) and the frame will shift. Don't forget that Steven Harper still has his agenda and will take steps to carry it out, he is a very patient and evil man.

Remember that Steven Harper helped found and was
President of the National Citizens Coalition, founded in 1967 to oppose Medicare, he supported US-style bank de-regulation. In his first budget, Finance Minister Flaherty invited “new players” into the Canadian mortgage market, offering greater choice and “innovation,” thus lowering mortgage insurance standards – the US recipe for disaster. Nevertheless, since the 2008 Financial Crisis, Harper has been taking credit for the relative strength of our financial sector, based on a system he inherited, but didn’t support.

Harper wants the federal government to abandon certain financial and administrative responsibilities – returning to an era 50 years ago before our nation-building social programs. Instead, his government “will look to innovative charities and forward-thinking private-sector companies to partner on new approaches to many social challenges.” Victorian England?

Harper thinks Medicare is provincial and wants to break it up. While heading the National Citizens Coalition, Harper said “the feds” should scrap the Canada Health Act. He doesn’t dare repeat that now, but he rules as though the law guaranteeing Canadians universality, portability, accessibility, and more doesn’t exist. Measures to encourage the provinces to comply with the Act aren't being enforced

These twp blog paint a very interesting picture of where Harper is coming from and where he intends to take this country, they are both worth a read.

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