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Liberal pension scheme hurts Ontario

(September 10, 2015) Despite the Wynne Liberals' best efforts to make their provincial pension scheme sound like the best thing since sliced bread, the plan is a bust for hard-working families and business owners across Ontario.

We are constantly hearing from individuals, shop owners and the media about how bad the plan is for the province but the Liberals refuse to change course. They arrogantly push forward. They tell us the plan is great and we have nothing to worry about.

Well, that's just not true. You know it and I know it.

This is yet another tax the Liberals are levying on us. It's a payroll tax. So now we'll have less money in the household kitty. Thanks so much Premier Wynne.

Furthermore, the Liberals don't know how much it's going to cost to administer the plan. But you can bet it won't be cheap. And you can bet the taxpayer will get dinged again to pay for the administration.

The Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) is among the many critics of the plan.

Allan O'Dette, the OCC's president, said recently on the organization's website that he was pleased to see the plan will be phased in but "we remain concerned that the [plan] in its current form will have a negative impact on business competitiveness."

The OCC is warning the plan will raise costs for many businesses, "including those employers that offer non-comparable plans like Group RRSPs."

The chamber notes its "survey data indicates that if faced with mandatory increased contributions under the plan, 44 per cent of businesses would reduce their current payroll or hire fewer employees in the future."

That figure is frightening, to say the least, and the last thing Ontario businesses and families need during these fragile economic times.

"We remain deeply concerned about the cumulative burden facing Ontario employers," O'Dette said, noting rising electricity prices is another challenge facing businesses across the province.

Here's some more numbers I think you'll find interesting. According to Canadian Press, the plan will require companies to pay premiums of 1.9 per cent of salary for each employee, up to $1,643 a year and workers will pay an equal amount.

So, if you're used to investing money on your own, factor not having that cash available.

And yet many people suggest you can do a lot better by investing on your own than you will do under the new Liberal plan.

Toronto Sun columnist Christina Blizzard notes this point in an excellent column posted to the paper's website on Aug. 15, titled 'ORPP leaves too many questions'. I encourage you to go online and read it.

"This pension plan is flawed and needs re-thinking," she writes. "It should be based on fact, not fantasy."

Truer words were never spoken.

Ontarians deserve better. We all work hard for our money and we don't need the Liberal government telling us what to do with it.

Jim Wilson is the Progressive Conservative MPP for Simcoe-Grey.

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