NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair
Credits: EAN-FRANCOIS DESGAGNES/JOURNAL DE QUEBEC/AGENCE QMI
OTTAWA - NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair test drove an election promise in Toronto on Friday even though Canadians don't venture back to the polls for two years.
In a speech to seniors' organization CARP, Mulcair said an NDP government would restore the age of eligibility of Old Age Security (OAS) benefits to 65.
In its spring budget, the government announced it would change the age of eligibility to 67 come 2023.
The NDP argues this move is "reckless" and suggests it will impact seniors and other "vulnerable" Canadians.
"In a country as wealthy as Canada, there is simply no excuse for such a massive failure to take care of our own," Mulcair said.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper told the Commons this week it is "necessary to remind the opposition that there are no changes to Old Age Security" for a decade and that seniors' pensions are being "fully protected."
Harper has also said it is necessary to usher in changes to the monthly social security payment system because it is not sustainable as is.
Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page, who released a report earlier this year that suggested the current OAS system is indeed sustainable, has now signalled he will take all government departments to court in a bid to obtain information about how budget cuts will impact services.