Budget Offers Wins for Older Canadians According to CARP

    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW/ - Older Canadians can claim gains in the new
federal budget, according to CARP, Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus.
    After years of advocating for the age of RRSPs to be converted to RRIFs
from 69 to 71, as well as for pension income splitting, CARP applauds Minister
Flaherty for introducing these important changes to the pension system.
Moreover, the increase to the age credit amount will also benefit thousands of
    CARP is particularly pleased that the government listened to the voices
of Canadians through the Association as well as many other stakeholder groups
regarding the establishment and funding of a Canadian Mental Health
Commission. Congratulations to the government for appointing former Senator
Michael Kirby to head the Commission.
    It is also good news that CARP's No More Waiting Campaign has effectively
contributed to achieving government action in this area with increased funding
for the reduction of wait times across the country. Also the funding for
electronic health records is a necessary step in improving the country's
health care system.
    It is expected that the social and health transfers to the provinces will
impact programs and services to help improve the quality of life for
Canadians. However, CARP would like to see greater accountability and
transparency around the expenditure of these transfers.
    The mandate of the New Horizons for Seniors Program will go a long way in
promoting a society for all ages and protecting against elder abuse and fraud.
The government's plan to combat violence against women and girls through
Status of Women Canada must also be praised.
    CARP looks forward to the details regarding the government's policies for
older workers, but welcomes the recognition for such action as permitting
phased retirement, as recommended by the Assocation.
    The new National Seniors Council which was announced prior to the budget
must be acknowledged as a critical initiative to provide opportunities for
addressing other issues of concern to older Canadians, such as volunteerism,
emergency preparedness, pharmacare and further pension reform. CARP pushed for
the Council and looks forward to working with it.

    CARP is Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus. A non-profit,
non-partisan national organization with 400,000 members across the country,
CARP's mandate is to promote and protect the rights and quality of life for
older Canadians. Its mission is to develop practical recommendations for the
issues raised. CARP for the 50Plus Magazine is read by close to 1 million
Canadians. The CARP websites are accessed by 250,000 unique visits per month.

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Taylor, (416) 363-8748 ext. 236,
m.taylor@50plus.com, www.carp.ca

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