Monday, June 28, 2004

#4: Reduce EI premiums

If would be unfortunate if a Conservative minority government played along with the indefensible notion that EI is an insurance program. Much like health care "premiums" in my province, as well as B.C. and now Ontario, if the premiums paid into the program bear no operational or financial relationship to the benefits of the program, it's a tax.

Without even addressing the payout side of Employment Insurance, it's time to reduce EI premiums for both employees and employers. Firstly, as noted, employees (i.e. taxpayers) have some idea of what the program actually costs, because the revenues and expenses balance out.

Secondly, labour is a commodity like everything else. If employer-paid EI premiums are lower, labour is cheaper, and they buy more of it. (Reference: Chapter 1 of any introductory economics textbook).

The money to replace the lost EI revenue needs to come from the severe shrinkage of HRSDC and Industry. If labour is more affordable for employers, a host of government job creation and employability programs are eminently and immediately expendable.

See the preamble to this list.
Go to #5.
Go to #3.

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