Hansard: February 15, 2022

Madam Speaker, as we know, many seniors are caught in this predicament because they are the lowest income seniors.  Single seniors on GIS make a little over $19,000 a year. Those who are partnered get about $25,000 a year. The only reason they had to go to work was to supplement their income, and during COVID many of them lost their jobs.  That is why they are caught in this predicament.  With this in mind, is the real issue, aside from restoring and making whole the seniors support, that we need to bring in a guaranteed livable basic income?

House of Commons Debate
Government Business No. 7—Proceedings on Bill C-12
Government Orders
February 15th, 2022 / 4:15 p.m.

 

Jenny Kwan (NDP) Vancouver East, BC

Madam Speaker, as we know, many seniors are caught in this predicament because they are the lowest income seniors.

Single seniors on GIS make a little over $19,000 a year. Those who are partnered get about $25,000 a year. The only reason they had to go to work was to supplement their income, and during COVID many of them lost their jobs.

That is why they are caught in this predicament.

With this in mind, is the real issue, aside from restoring and making whole the seniors support, that we need to bring in a guaranteed livable basic income?

Mr. Speaker, New Democrats support expediting this bill. In fact we called for action even before the election last year and it all fell on deaf ears. The one thing I do regret is the slowness of the government's reaction because many seniors have already been impacted.

That being said, one thing we have learned from the pandemic is that low-income seniors, those who rely on the GIS, cannot make ends meet. That is why they have to supplement their incomes with additional work in retirement. To that end, will the member support the NDP's proposal for a guaranteed livable basic income so that seniors will never have to suffer the indignity they had to endure during the pandemic?

 

https://openparliament.ca/debates/2022/2/15/jenny-kwan-2/

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