B.C. should remove CPP clawback

Re: “Child-support clawbacks ending,” Feb. 18.

The end of child-support clawbacks is a well-deserved victory for kids and parents on assistance.

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However, with the local coverage of this issue, the equally egregious Canada Pension Plan clawback has been lost. Every day in B.C., chronically ill seniors on provincial disability assistance are coerced into applying for early CPP by the Liberal government with the real threat of termination of their benefits.

Then, Service Canada punishes them for life with a permanent reduction of their pension — a penalty that persists even after they leave B.C. assistance at 64.

To add insult to injury, the reduced pension is clawed back off their disability cheques and put into government coffers. While on B.C. assistance, poor disabled seniors never benefit from pension payments that could help lift them out of poverty. They will never see money that was earned off their sweat and hard work.

This inhumane legislation was brought in by NDP premier Mike Harcourt in 1996, just one of his many slash-and-burn welfare reforms. It is time for the NDP Opposition to stand up in the House, admit to this historical wrongdoing and fix it by pressuring the Liberals to immediately repeal this unjust legislation that sentences disabled seniors to a lifetime of intractable and relentless poverty.

Doreen Marion Gee

Victoria

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