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Réseau FADOQ endorsed the Bloc québécois’ Bill C-319 because it amends the Old Age Security pension so that people between the ages of 65 and 74 may also benefit from the 10% increase already granted to people aged 75 and over.
The president of our organization, Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, participated in a press conference on Thursday with the Bloc Québécois Member of Parliament who introduced this bill, Andréanne Larouche, as well as two other Québec seniors’ organizations, the Association québécoise de défense des droits des personnes retraitées et préretraitées (Quebec Association for the Defense of the Rights of Retired and Pre-Retired Persons) and the Association québécoise des retraité(e)s des secteurs public et parapublic.
Our presence was not intended as opposition to the federal government or an endorsement of any particular party. We want to support this bill because financial insecurity knows no age.
In 2021, a 10 per cent increase in Old Age Security benefits restricted to people aged 75 and over was widely publicized. Since then, not a week goes by without one of our members asking us to ensure that people aged 65 to 74 can also benefit from this measure.
We at Réseau FADOQ believe that it is important to enhance financial support for the less fortunate, some of whom are 65 and 74 years old. If Ottawa does not want to go ahead with the 10% increase for all people eligible for Old Age Security, it should at least start by keeping its promise to increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).
Bill C-319 also seeks to amend the legislation that increases the exemption for employment or self-employment income from $5,000 to $6,500 when calculating the Guaranteed Income Supplement benefit.
This is an appropriate measure at a time when we are experiencing a labour shortage. The government did increase the cap, but it is possible to go even further. The creation of an experienced worker tax credit, another government commitment, would also be welcome.