The opposition NDP has launched its own investigation into the UCP’s idea that the province withdraw from Canada Pension. plan Create an Alberta Pension Plan instead.
This comes after the Alberta government conducted an online survey on the idea following the release of an independent report on the likelihood and feasibility of Alberta leaving the CPP.
NDP finance critic Shannon Phillips told reporters the government’s investigation left out one key question.
“This so-called consultation using government resources doesn’t even ask Albertans if they want to leave the Canada Pension Plan,” Phillips said Monday.
The government’s survey is instead asking Albertans for feedback on how the Alberta Pension Plan should be structured. Using highlights from commissioned reports, we show that state pension plans deliver higher benefit payments and savings with lower contributions.
Phillips said the state’s investigation is predicated on support for leaving the CPP and running its own pension system.
“Rather, all the questions are about how Albertans want their Alberta Pension Plan to be designed,” she said. “In other words, this is just asking Albertans what color unicorn they want. And the fact that unicorns exist is taken for granted by this government.”
Alberta releases report on potential provincial pension system
The government-commissioned report says Alberta would be entitled to $334 billion, more than half of the CPP funding, if it leaves the national plan in 2027.
Based on its share, the report says Alberta could save $5 billion a year with lower contributions if it became independent.
Some worry the Alberta Pension Plan isn’t that reliable
But some economists questioned the report’s calculations, saying the hypothetical payment amounts were based on one interpretation of the underlying law and funding formula.
Alberta Finance Minister Nate Horner said in a statement to Global News that ensuring Albertans have the opportunity to provide feedback on the potential of the Alberta Pension Plan is “a priority for the Government of Alberta. ” he said.
Horner’s statement also said the independent commission, led by former Finance Minister Jim Dinning, will provide an opportunity for Albertans to “ask questions, voice concerns and provide input on the potential APP.”
“We have been clear all along: Albertans will choose what happens to their pensions,” Horner’s statement said. “Unlike the NDP, which has made it clear that it does not respect the wishes of Albertans, we will put the interests of Albertans first and respect whatever choices they make.”
NDP criticizes provincial government over ‘biased’ investigation of Alberta pension plan
The committee will begin consultations in the coming weeks and into next spring, and will submit a feedback report recommending whether the government should hold a referendum on the state’s pension system.
Duane Blatt, a political scientist at MRU who completed the government’s research, said he believed the talks were not about assessing public opinion, but about changing it.
“Jim Dining was appointed to the committee not to evaluate opinions, but to shape and change opinions,” Blatt said. “It’s clear that the Alberta government is not putting its thumb on the scale, it’s stamping it with its foot.”
Phillips said the NDP survey asks if and why Alberta should end the CPP.
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