Canada's center-right government called for the retirement age to be raised and for major public service cuts Thursday, in an austerity budget that aims to balance the books by 2016.We will have to do this one day as well - the sooner we do the less pain there will be.
Tackling unpopular measures that many industrialized countries are being forced to consider as their populations age, the Canadian government said its budget would help the country move a step ahead.
"Other Western countries face the risk of long-term economic decline. We have a rare opportunity to position our country for sustainable, long-term growth," Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in the House of Commons.
"Looking ahead, Canadians have every reason to be confident," he said presenting what was dubbed a budget for "the next generation."
Under the plan, Canada will cut its deficit this year through "moderate" spending cuts, as the economy grows by 2.1 percent, Flaherty announced.
But much deeper cuts, including the laying off of 19,200 government staff, or 4.8 percent of the federal workforce, are planned for the coming years.
Flaherty said old age security and guaranteed income supplement benefits worth up to a total of Can$15,000 and now paid out at age 65 would be offered only at age 67, starting in 2023.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Elections have consequences. In Canada's case, they elected adults - and the Canadian people seem to be acting like adults too ... at least on balance.