Budget Reviews

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  • As a recently retired government employee (35 years service) I am sick and tired of hearing about my “gold plated” pension. Yes, I am fortunate that I chose to work for the government. Some people I know tried to talk me out of working for the government and chose the private sector. They thought they were paying into pension plans that would sustain them during retirement only to find out their pension was either bought out by a new employer or the funds had been depleted because of the 2008 stock market crash.
    Upon being hired I was told that if I did not want to pay into the pension plan or pay union dues I could not be employed as a government employee.  Starting in high school with summer jobs I have paid into five pension plans including Superannuation, RRSPs, CPP, taxed for old age pension and a national health plan as well as employment insurance which I had no hope of ever collecting and thankfully did not have to collect. Over the years, collectively, employees have contributed billions of dollars to these plans.  To balance the books In the 90s the Canadian government took DVA money as well as union funds, employment insurance funds and put it all into general revenue.  As well, because of austerity measures, in the 90s, union negotiations were frozen for nine years and many government employees did not receive any raises during that time, me included. As the government has begun pulling  the rug out from existing pension plans they have the audacity to create a new government group pension plan where employees control the amount of money they want to contribute.  I predict that when it comes time to collect on the benefits of this plan people will be told, “Ooops, we’re sorry but we are not able to pay you the amount of money you expected to receive due to stock market declines.” or “We didn’t have enough participation in the plan to provide the expected benefits you require, and you have to share the pain”.
    Ever since the Wall Street meltdown in 2008, people who have not been as fortunate as myself have been bashing government employees.  Since the war years governments and employers alike have sold employees on the idea that paying into pensions was a good thing and would benefit us in our golden years.  Now that there is an economic crunch, people who have paid into these plans in good faith are slowly watching their benefits erode while  the corporate and political leaders who were responsible for the Wall Street meltdown walk away with billions in benefits and were left unscathed. I cannot believe pensioners are being asked to share the pain while economists try to figure out a way to prevent a full blown collapse of the global economy. After all it was through the dishonest ponzi schemes and sub prime loans created by banks and some corporate and political leaders who are responsible for the present state of the economy.
    It was when I turned sixty years old I realized I had been duped and told a pack of lies.  Pensions are being eroded, employment insurance is being attacked and the health care system, especially in Nova Scotia is in shambles.  While we are watching our pensions disappear our leaders in Nova Scotia tell us our economy is on the verge of collapse, they take four hundred million dollars from health care and education, give to one of the richest families in Canada, the Irvings and bail out multi-million dollar pulp mills. Where do the lies stop.  

    Gary MacLeod

    Gary MacLeod | June 15, 2012 | Reply

    • Gary thanks for your comment. The problems with most pension plans,both public and private, are not the result of bad faith by either employees or employers. It is because the contributions turned out to be inadequate to pay for the benefits promised. The question we have to address for public sector plans is how the solution should be shared between employees and taxpayers,most of whom have no pension plan.


      Bill | June 16, 2012 | Reply

  • Hello Bill: I’ve given you my comments before. I hope that you are not advocating that the rest of us, (taxpayer), who typically have no pension at all, should contribute again to boost payments to sustain a fund that was paid for (by our contributions) to support a favoured group of teachers, and government clerks, etc. Why would you ever think we would want to do that!

    Michael J Monteith (Irate)

    Michael J Monteith | May 3, 2012 | Reply

  • Couldn’t agree more. And moving provincial govt. jobs from HRM to other areas will invariably lead to even higher numbers over time. I’ve watched that happen at the federal level.

    Bill Rafuse | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  • Why do I have the feeling that with the 100 the anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic we are witnessing a rearranging of deck chairs once again. Getting back to balance is a statement but what has to start is paying down our debt. Talking of tax reductions especially on the HST , that the NDP raised despite election promises of no new taxes, seems counter to common sense. Common Sense would say you go through the pain for the near future and cut dramatically the size of government. Somehow I think the NDP sees internal polling that shows a minority government or defeat next election. It is not only the season of the budget but also the season of the Hail Mary Pass. Fortunately we have all seen this play before and will deny the NDP a victory.

    paul taylor | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  • well, bail out the teachers pension fund, bail out the universities pension funds, don’t cut the size of the civil service, give $ 300 to Irving which is really based on “union”jobs, add a 2%HST to take away the Conservative 2% decrease , add a 2% room tax to tax the tourist, take the ferry route to the USA away to save $12 million while you give over $500 plus to bail out a pension fund to teachers and professors who on average earn far more than most. Look at their health plans while you are it and see how generous their plans are compared to a senior on pharmacare. A $ 5 co-pay compared to $ 400 a month?? p . And Tourism has to create a brand new agency and do a national search to find some one to “market” Nova Scotia. imagine that while you watched your tourism businesses closing due to the loss of the ferry, the lack of enforcement to shut down the 1000’s of illegal rooms . Amazing,before you hire that new “CEO” someone gives out the advertising contract for the next 3 years, so that takes care of that problem for the new CEO , eh . Brilliant.

    PS | April 6, 2012 | Reply