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Guest Columns: New EI Rules Are Step In The Right Direction – CTF
By Gregory Thomas. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) applauded new regulations proposed for Employment Insurance eligibility.“The new EI rules strike a blow for hard-working Canadian taxpayers, against habitual pogey collectors who have been enjoying part-time work with other people’s money for far too long,” said CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas.
“Anybody making at least $45,900 a year gets $840 docked from their paycheque, and their employer pays another $1,175.96,” said Thomas. “It’s costing every Canadian worker and their bosses $2,015.96 in EI taxes this year to feed an unfair system that scammers routinely take advantage of.”
Thomas noted that 294 fish plant workers in Prince Edward Island applied for EI this past January, the same month that 60 foreigners were granted permits for fish plant jobs on the island because no Canadians were available to do the work.
The new rules put tougher conditions on people with three or more EI claims in the past five years, or who have collected EI for more than 60 weeks in the past five years.
“If you’ve been collecting pogey more than one year in the past five, maybe it’s time to get some training, find a different line of work, or move to where the jobs are,” said Thomas. “These new rules should help push people off of a pogey lifestyle and into steadier jobs.”
The CTF also applauded tougher conditions for collecting EI, such as looking for work every day, and keeping records to prove that EI recipients have applied for jobs.
“Let’s remember, these so-called benefits are nothing more than other people’s EI tax money – over $20 billion dollars – forcibly taken from them,” said Thomas.
Thomas called today’s EI reforms “a step in the right direction.” The CTF supports employment insurance savings accounts, where the $2,015.96 in annual EI taxes would instead go into a tax-sheltered account similar to a Tax-Free Savings Account in the worker’s own name. The money could be used in the event of job loss, or rolled into retirement savings at the end of a taxpayer’s career.
Gregory Thomas is the Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation
He can be reached at 1-800-265-0442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org