Hot! Talk is cheap [cost of living increases to CPP & OAS]

WellandTribune.ca – news/what readers say
December 30, 2010.   D.G. Smith

Would someone please explain why the Canada Pension Plan benefits are revised annually based on the Consumer Price Index are higher than the Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits that are supposed to be revised quarterly based on the CPI when the percentages do not match?

The CPP increase effective Jan. 1 is 1.7% or in dollars $25.83 per month, whereas the OAS and GIS benefits based on the same CPI will only increase 0.05% or in dollars $2.61 per month and $3.29 more per month for the GIS — giving a grand total to all of those seniors who only collect these two benefits of $ 5.90 per month.

The new OAS monthly amount will increase to $524.23 from $521.62 per month and the GIS benefit will increase to $661.69 from $658.40 per month for a grand total of $1,185.92 per month or $14,231.04 per year, which is well below the poverty line.

Looking at these increases one must again stress the CPI basket must be revised so it only reflects on the critical necessities of a senior 65 and over and not that intolerable basket of 600 items.

The inflation rate was just released showing it to be 1.9965%, which most assuredly has an effect on seniors but no affect on the CPI.

To go along with this announcement on the CPI stated consumer prices rose 2.0% in the 12 months to November, but the increases the seniors receive definitely did not mirror that increase.

Here are a small number of remarkable statistics that were definitely disregarded by the CPI; energy rose 9.1% in October, electricity rose 5.9% compared with an 8% increase in October, food prices rose 1.5% following an increase of 2.2% in October, and telephone costs rose 1.7%. Are these not senior prerequisites?

To close, it should be pointed out the mounting costs of food, electricity and heat are pushing thousands of seniors below Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (below poverty line) proving to the government its scheme to increase the OAS and the GIS back in 2007 by 15 % action should be taken instead of a lot of worthless chatting over the past three years.

Talk is cheap.

D.G. Smith, Welland

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