Over the past two decades the Liberals, then the Conservatives raided the Employment Insurance premium fund; by, get this, over $50 billion. That’s right – billion.
Workers and employers have paid into this with the expectation that they were buying insurance in case they became unemployed. But these governments funnelled that into general revenue. In 2014 the Harper government continued the process by bilking EI of $1.6 billion while they reduced claim payouts.
When insurance premiums go to general revenue that becomes a tax. So much for the “no tax” governments. This $1.6 billion figure is basically the budget surplus the Conservatives are now boasting about in this election campaign.
The only major party that constantly opposes this is the NDP. They firmly advocate that any EI surpluses should be directed to – guess what – reducing unemployment.
Why shouldn’t all EI surpluses be directed to Canadian students learning useful trades and developing other critical skills? I call that an investment in our future; other leading countries invest in their youth.
The Conservatives call it a bad idea for their continuous re-election platform.
What do you think?
On Oct. 19 vote for change. Vote to invest EI premiums where they should have been for the last two decades. Vote for the NDP.