Sunday, September 13, 2009

EI: Harper's Partisan Piggy Bank

Just like the sky, the Conservative Party isn't blue, it just looks that way.

From 1993 to 2006 the Federal Liberal government collected a cumulative 51 Billion dollars more than it spent on employment insurance; the surplus each year going to the government's general revenue. Though such money was being used to pay down the debt, many economists and organizations saw this as bad, as it was ultimately an additional tax on workers.

In those years a younger and thinner Stephen Harper stood up in the House of Commons, denouncing such a policy. He led the charge against this EI abuse, rattling that the Liberals were using the EI fund as "a partisan piggy bank." This not just being about the excesses of government, but of the abuse of the tax system, something inherently opposed to by the conservative ideology.

In 2006 the Conservative Party took office, and now in power, no longer protected from being the powerless opposition, is forced to confront the reality that speech must match actions. Unfortunately where once there were conservative words, there are now only deceptions.

Yesterday Jim Flaherty the Conservative Finance Minister announced that EI premiums will increase in the years of 2012-2014. The Globe and Mail reports that such a hike will mean that the government will collect 12.9 Billion dollars more than it spends on the program. The article states:

Using information released in Thursday's fiscal update, economist Dale Orr calculates that Ottawa will collect $12.9-billion more in EI premiums from employers and workers than it pays out in benefits or administrative costs between 2012-13 and 2014-15.
The Conservative government is doing the very thing it fought against while its party was in opposition. It is imposing an additional tax on the most productive component of society, the workers.

The Conservative Party has now adopted a position it once fought against; a position that is inherently opposed to by the conservative ideology. And in reality where actions display a person's beliefs, not words, this Conservative Party is not a party with an ideology.

Just like the sky, the Conservative Party isn't blue, it just looks that way.

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