Another disappointing budget for pensioners
It was another budget and another disappointment for public service pensioners.
The more than 5,000 of them have been asking the province to help for years.
They want a number of things, but having their pensions indexed to the cost of living is their main focus.
There was no such assistance in this year’s fiscal plan.
That’s unfortunate, said Robert Langdon of the Newfoundland and Labrador Public Sector Pensioners Association.
He believes the amount of money they are talking about on an annual basis is a paltry sum when the budget is nearly $7 billion.
“ The amount we are looking for is very small and I can’t believe it’s an economic or a financial issue,” Langdon said in the Confederation Building lobby.
“It’s must be a political thing, and I don’t understand that.”
Asked by reporters about the plight of public service pensioners, Finance Minister Tom Marshall pointed to the tax breaks in the budget for seniors.
He noted most retirees in the province don’t have pensions from their former employers, but the members of Langdon’s group have pensions and are getting exactly what their plans said they would.
Langdon acknowledged the tax breaks, but was unimpressed with the lack of attention again this year.
“ What the minister has continuously done is mixed in the issue of former employees of government, vis-à-vis pension issues, with benefits for seniors,” he said.
“Of course, government should always do things for seniors, but when it comes to the issue that we’re talking about, it’s the actions and decisions of governments which affect the bottom line of our pensions. Nothing to do with anything else really.”
Langdon says his organization has been trying to get government to address their concerns for two decades and it is still not close to giving up.
“ The fight is just starting.”