Friday, May 22, 2009

Ignatieff Op-Ed

Ignatieff has written an op-ed piece, primarily outlining why we need to resolve problems with EI as it currently exists:
That kind of change will have a positive effect on the Canadian economy.

One hundred and fifty thousand more unemployed Canadians on EI mean 150,000 more Canadian families spending on food, rent and transportation. It means money flowing into communities that have been hit the hardest by this recession.

That's the kind of immediate, targeted and effective stimulus we need right now.

I've always seen EI reform as a form of stimulus, so I'm glad to see Ignatieff make this basic point. Rather than making it "lucrative" as Harper describes, what you are really doing is keeping money in the system, offsetting the compounding problem of unemployment feeding off itself. In addition, there is no red tape with this sort of stimulus, the money gets directly into the hands of people who will spend it and stimulate.

On what lies ahead:
In the closing weeks of the spring session of Parliament, the Conservative government has a choice to make. Mr. Harper can continue to resist a good idea simply because someone else thought of it first. Or else he can make a simple but critical change to EI that will provide benefits for thousands of Canadians who have paid into the system and who now need that money to support their families.

We hope the Conservative government will choose wisely.

In response to the Conservative nonsense, that the opposition proposals are open ended, I think the Liberals need to highlight the support for these changes within the economic community. Harper, today in Calgary, is using his usual bombastic language to turn a reasonable solution into a wild exercise:
This is an absurdity. This has nothing to do with the real problems of this recession. This is just a recipe to raise payroll taxes. It is not responsible.

To highlight who is being "absurd" here, a great non-partisan counter would be to provide a list of banks, economic think tanks that support the Liberals idea. When you have such widespread independent support you can make your case, as well as isolate your opponent as "not responsible".


Anonymous said...

One thing that could be changed is the mother that returns to work after Maternity leave and her job is no longer there.

Anonymous said...

Carper sure does seem PO'd about this; as seen on a west coast transpo project news conference today. His self-righteous Protestant work ethic rearing its head. Hearkens back to his condemnation of the Atlantic provinces some years back, as being a bunch of lazy welfare bums: people should dig that up again.

Anonymous said...

Your link doesn't seem to be functioning right now but when Ignatieff writes "Mr. Harper can continue to resist a good idea simply because someone else thought of it first", I assume he makes clear that the "someone else" who "thought of it first" was the NDP, right?

We need to do more to fix EI than what Mr. Ignatieff suggests. All the opposition parties should take a strong stand--and stick by it--to force Harper to act.

LMA said...

The 14 May Liberal Media Release entitled "Just the Facts: Stephen Harper Misleads Canadians on Unemployment Insurance" states clearly that "there is absolutely no requirement to raise payroll taxes in order to increase EI eligibility". Harper is playing gutter politics again, this time at the expense of unemployed Canadians.

I agree Anon @ 11:24, the Opposition parties must stick to their guns on this issue.