Recently, the Parliamentary budget officer released a report on the government’s handling of the Employment Insurance program.
This PBO analysis confirms what the PSAC has been saying for several months: legislative changes to EI are hurting workers and economies in many communities in Canada.
According to the report, the government is using the estimated $5 billion saved by freezing EI contribution rates, not counting the new highly inefficient small business job credit, to balance the budget instead of using these revenues to enhance benefits to the unemployed and making EI funds available to more Canadians.
It is unacceptable that the government is balancing the books on the backs of vulnerable Canadians.
Another issue addressed by the PBO is the dwindling number of unemployed Canadians qualifying for EI. In 2007, 46.6 per cent of unemployed Canadians qualified for benefits. That figure has gone down to 38 per cent in 2014.
The report concludes that the government's current handling of EI will reduce job creation by over 9,000 jobs over the next two years.
We call on the government to take heed of the PBO’s report and start undoing their damaging EI policies that have had such a detrimental effect on Canadians.
This PSAC video, Employment Insurance in Canada: hitting rock bottom highlights the decline of the EI program over the last 25 years.