Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tories Drag Feet on Veterans' Benefits

The Harper government never passes up an opportunity to boast how it supports the troops but, when it comes to veterans, that seems to be mainly hot air.

NDP defence critic Peter Stoffer says the Tories have failed to act on his motion passed last fall to improve veterans' benefits:

The motion directed the government to make five reforms: eliminate the “gold-digger” clause to allow spouses access to survivor benefits if they marry a Forces retiree after age 60; extend Veterans Independence Program home-care services to all widows and widowers of veterans; stop the reduction of long-term disability benefits faced by veterans released from the military for medical reasons; increase the survivor pension amount for veterans’ spouses to 66 per cent from 50 per cent; and end the clawback of service pensions for veterans who receive the Canada Pension.

Mr. Stoffer said the improvements would help about 400,000 veterans and spouses and would cost Ottawa between $800 million and $1.2 billion a year.

He pointed out that Stephen Harper’s government had a total surplus of about $23 billion in its first two budgets.


northwestern_lad said...

Hmmm... $1.2 billion when you have had $23 billion in surpluses in the past two years. That speaks volumes about how these Conservatives support the troops. I bet $1.2 billion could buy a lot of those "Support the Troops" ribbon bumper stickers (I wouldn't be suprised if they thought about doing just that)

And of course it is the NDP who is stepping up to the plate, all the while being accused of making the Taliban feel better. Thankfully they haven't let the nasty words of those who disagree with them take their eyes off of what is important.

Anonymous said...

What I do recall is the fanfare, self-congraulatory, pompous, bald-faced bragging of Harper as he proclaimed himself and his party "the" true friends of the veterans. Steve's signature hollow ring is also bound by fair weather friendship.
The front rank military should take note.