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Réseau FADOQ strongly condemns the federal government’s failure to provide anything at all to benefit seniors in the economic update announced by Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland.
Canada’s biggest senior association expected the Trudeau government to at least announce a 10% increase in the Old Age Security (OAS) pension, even if only for those ages 75 and up, as Liberals promised in the last election campaign.
“It is totally unacceptable for the government to let seniors down once again. Many are in dire financial straits, and the pandemic has made it even worse,” said Réseau FADOQ president Gisèle Tassé-Goodman.
In September’s Speech from the Throne, the government had nonetheless reiterated its commitment to raising the OAS pension. Meanwhile Réseau FADOQ had continued to press for the raise to be given to seniors ages 65 to 74, not just those ages 75 and over.
“People whose only income is the OAS and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) receive a little over $18,000 per year, roughly equivalent to the Market Basket Measure threshold. Seniors in this situation have to get by on the bare minimum, which Statistics Canada refers to as basket of goods and services for a subsistence standard of living. It’s just enough to cover basic needs, and doesn’t include dental or vision care or medications,” explained Ms. Tassé-Goodman.
Like the large numbers of seniors among the least affluent in our society, Réseau FADOQ has still not come to terms with the insulting indexation of less than 1% for the OAS and the GIS announced on October 1, ironically coinciding with the International Day of Older Persons.