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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

11/23/2004

Bloat

Back when I actually had a paycheque I duely paid my EI premiums and, at one point, collected EI. Not a bad program all in as it increases the mobility of Canada's workforce and finances job transitions. (And yes there are truly strange abuses - sports fishing in the Maritimes being one of them.)

In today's rather dull Auditor General's Report, Ms. Fraser points out,
On employment insurance, Fraser said the government is evading the intent of the law by pumping more money every year into a fund swollen to $46 billion, or three times what actuaries feel is needed.

The government has cut contribution rates over the years and said in the 2004 budget it was reviewing the situation.

"In our view, Parliament did not intend for the account to accumulate a surplus beyond what could reasonably be spent for employment insurance purposes," the report said.
cp via yahoo
Now, 46 billion, 30 billion over what is actually needed, is a lot of money. Money which comes directly out of the paycheques of ordinary Canadians.

If the Conservative Party were on the ball it would have a proposal, in Parliament, for a radical reduction in EI premiums. Put it up as a private members bill and line up the Bloc and the NDP to support it.

Cutting EI premiums by, say, one third would put real money into the hands of Canadians every two weeks.