Benson Introduces Bill to Help Protect Seniors Living in Poverty

This bill would prohibit any reduction in the Guaranteed Income Supplement if the only change to one’s income is as a result of CPP indexing.

New Democrats are calling on the government to immediately adopt Bill C-353 to allow seniors’ net income to keep pace with inflation. The Canada Pension Plan is indexed each year to keep up with cost of living, but even a marginal increase in the CPP often means that the same amount is clawed back from the Guaranteed Income Supplement, leaving seniors no further ahead.

This bill would prohibit any reduction in the Guaranteed Income Supplement if the only change to one’s income is as a result of CPP indexing.

“According to the latest statistics, almost half of Canadian families aged 55-64 have no employer pension benefits and their retirement savings are inadequate to supplement government programs,” said Benson. “Statistics Canada data shows that 12% of seniors living are in poverty - that’s almost 600,000 people. We should not be penalizing these seniors by clawing back CPP increases from their GIS.”

Sheri has tabled this bill in response to the feedback she has received from local seniors who are having a hard time making ends meet. She explains that “seniors whose only income comes from CPP, OAS and GIS are not benefitting from the increases to CPP each year. It is unfair that those who need it most don’t benefit.” Sheri is looking forward to discussing this bill and the accompanying petition with seniors in Saskatoon West.

This bill was also introduced in the last Parliament by Chris Charlton, the former MP for Hamilton Mountain. Unfortunately, there is still a dire need for a bill that will preserve the cost-of-living increase on the CPP for the seniors living in poverty, and the many more at risk of falling into poverty.

Add your name in support of low income seniors by signing the petition here.