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"EI premiums were frozen as part of the Economic Action Plan," Flaherty told reporters in Kitchener on Thursday. "They were frozen as a measure to help Canada come out of recession."
Now that the economy and jobs picture has improved, he said, Ottawa has no plans to continue the freeze for the coming fiscal year, he said.
Flaherty was responding to a news report that said EI premiums could be set to increase by nearly 10 per cent on Jan. 1.
So glad the economy is doing great jimbo, come tell that to all the people laid off down here in sw ontario. Oh did I mention they are cutting the EI time by 5 weeks....so happy I could scream.
So let's add up the context to the government's policy at this time:
1) it has extracted a promise to make spending cuts from the G8/20 and threatened the Canadian economy with broad-based cuts expected in the next budget (somehow exempting big military purchases and perhaps a hockey arena)
2) it has made deals with the two largest provinces to introduce a new tax on services in those provinces - which unlike goods (mostly imported) are Canadian jobs
3) it has presided over interest rate increases, telegraphing that we need more while restricting housing purchases through changes to regulations (I actually support this but recognize that this is in a context)
4) it plans on increasing EI premiums
5) It has insisted on ending the stimulus program when the economy is weak and in danger of slipping back in to recession and many projects are unfinished
We know that high unemployment would do wonders to keep wages down and profits up. Is that the game plan here? Or are the cons simply so incompetent that they think taking one hit after another to employment does not add up?
Any one of these moves would be no big deal but it is essential that people put these things together and look at this as a cumulative impact of policy.
good point sean, i often wondered if the whole recession was actually a plan put in place by the major economic powers to reduce our citizenry here to something more in line with the emerging economies. A perfect excuse to reduce wages, social services, rights etc. I think that's why the term "correction" of the economy works so well. Although there doesn't seems to be any evidence it was intentional.
I don't think the recession was intentional-- but the blindness to the concerns of most Canadians was willful and perhaps the weakness once there is being exploited. That is the explanation I have for the shocking willingness to let several shocks to the economy pile up to have a combined effect the government is pretending not to notice.
I think it was through intentional negligence. And right wing economics. The first thing we need to realize flat out is expansion(at least in western nationals) can not continue. Conservation, efficiency and enviromentalism will naturally eliminate jobs and economic expansion. We aren't going to be mining more when we are recycling more(though I honestly don't know which requires more workers)
But I think in the future, after the recession, we are going to have far less consumption as people will earn less than in the last 50 years and be in constant fear of not having a job. Tie this to the environmental movement and you can see the economy has little room to expand.
I know from my job that optical inspection has allowed robots to recieve a skid of parts and load them all into the machine and spit out a finished prodcut out the other end. We cut a doorline down to 2 people from around 20 just 15 years ago. This happens rarely as auto companies(all of them) can't just eliminate all their workforce when times are good. that is why business is "cyclical" and why they never rehire even half the amount after recessions.
Very convient to get rid of redundant staff because of technology using a "downturn" as a pretext. In the 90s they didn't have the pretext and instead just said companies where downsizing. Companies got much larger and only people got downsized from their jobs.
So I guess you could say intentional. In that companies after 3-4 years wait for the first large company to signal its time to trim staff, then they follow suit. An oil analyst was on CBC one time talking about gas pump prices. He mentions they don't need to colude they just wait for the signal from a few stations and everyone adjusts accordingly. Chomsky states something to that effect as well. He said there is no need for them to talk to each other when they all know what is in their best interest which 99/100 times is the same as their competition.
I have some hope that globalization has 1 effect...that we watch a huge amount of reporter(we have no journalists) jobs outsourced and lost(see print media) this for not reporting or educating while in the position to do so(to one degree or another) then they might understand the destruction they have wrought on the rest of us.
I am a bit of a nihilist. Nothin else seems to be able to stop the plutocracy that is running the world until we are all healed in the 99.5% owning 0.5%...then people might MIGHT get off their asses and this time try to remember it for more than 20 years.
This might be a good issue to have an election over. The NDP, BQ, and Liberals all seem to want to at least extend the EI reductions.
Campaigning against higher EI rates would help the NDP, BQ, and Liberals, reduce the number of Conservative MPs.