EI and the Soaring Federal Deficit
If the federal deficit for 2009-10 soars by more than $16 Billion from $34 Billion to over $50 Billion, it won’t be mainly because of a jump in EI expenditures as Finance Minister Flaherty seems to have suggested.
True, the 2009 Budget EI projections now look badly wrong. The forecast increase in total EI spending from 2008-09 to 2009-10 was just $3.3 Billion, including about $1.5 Billion for new EI measures announced in the Budget. Thus higher unemployment was expected to add less than $2 Billion to the total EI Bill.
With regular EI claims now running about 50% higher than in the past fiscal year, the bill will jump by about $4 Billion per year.
The $2 Billion difference between the Budget forecast and the likely cost of the EI program is big – but scarcely the biggest factor in the expected jump of more than $16 Billion in the deficit.
I think people would be quite amazed at how small the costs of EI have been since the liberals took a machete to the program. For such an important adjustment program, it is such a bargain, when one compares it to the costs of huge tax cuts last year, bank bailouts and the pension shortfalls.
It does make you think about how we have let such a huge pillar within these days of change become so tattered. I am glad there were some training issues addressed but sad that no movement on eligibility requirements or size of payouts.
Fluidity through change, buttressed against the these wrenching times can be drastically better achieved by those with full stomachs and eager minds.
My motto- if you build the high asset workforce, they will come- and they will. Change is coming, and winds will blow a lot easier if we have some better sense of the size of change within the heads of those making the decisions.
alas, Andrew and crew, you have done an excellent job on pressing those needed to be flattened in getting this EI issue resolved, we are getting closer. Keep your torches lit and on their feet.