Sierra Club of Canada


Everybody’s a critic: Budget 2012 reactions, partisan and otherwise

Thomas Mulcair sounded sure of himself reacting to today’s federal budget for the first time as NDP leader. But Mulcair’s main line of attack, his claim that the budget contains “reckless cuts” to Old Age Security and health care, could be difficult to sustain. While Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s speech in Davos led to speculation that OAS was in for deep, wrenching cuts, the 2012 budget announces that the age of eligibility for the benefit will be gradually raised to 67 from the current 65 starting in 2023. As for health care, Flaherty told the provinces late last year he’ll be trimming annual growth in health transfers to about four per cent from the current six per cent year hike, but not until 2017-18. So those are two modest restraint measures that won’t be imposed for a long time. Even Mulcair will have trouble keeping up political pressure on changes so far off.