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Tories reach out to self-employed with EI benefits


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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canadavotes/story/2...vatives-ei.html

please let me know if i understand this correctly.... as a self employed individual, i get to opt out of ei premiums. but I think I’m going to need maternity leave so I opt in? and then i can opt out again? sign me up!! ha ha ha!!

so the t4’d slaves are grossly overpaying into ei which has a huge surplus now and for which they have no option not to pay so the thing to do is… give the money to self employed people? sign me up! ha ha ha ha!

it will pay for itself? oh, that’s wishful thinking! what kinda program where you can opt in and out and make more money in benefits then in payments will be self sufficient? if payments in any way exceed benefits then a business person will opt out all together!

and yet at least today when I saw initial responses from party spokespeople… they were all for it! looking out for ‘working families’!

Edited by cgarrett
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Self-employed Canadians would be required to opt into EI premium at least six months prior to making a claim. Exact premium amounts and required payments post-claim would be set out upon implementation, a Conservative press release said.

Observers said the announcement was aimed at women voters seen as key to the Tories gaining a majority in the Oct. 14 federal election.

Farmers will like this.

Some day in the future, a politician will have the courage to reform EI. It's a sad, pathetic, grotesquely unfair several billion dollar mess.

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Farmers will like this.

So will chip wagon operators and the like; a lot of these are family businesses. I also think of all those who run a small business from home. A lot of them are women. I wouldn't call making EI accessible to these workers corporate welfare.

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t4'd employee's should be outraged!

Why? My taxes have gone down in the last two years, and I have more money in my pocket. Why would I have any problem with encouraging entrepreneurship? You know, entrepreneurs, the people who start the businesses that T4'd employees get their jobs from?

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Why? My taxes have gone down in the last two years, and I have more money in my pocket. Why would I have any problem with encouraging entrepreneurship? You know, entrepreneurs, the people who start the businesses that T4'd employees get their jobs from?

+1.

Some people will never be happy until the entire business sector is destroyed and everyone works for the government.

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I'd like to see an explanation of the problem Harper is trying to solve here. Why is there suddenly a need for self-employed people to participate in EI?

If it is managed like CPP, the self-employed person is going to have to pay both employer and employee portions, or about $3,600 per year.

This thing is going to be open to all kinds of abuse. For example, you can't quit a job and collect EI, except under certain circumstances. Are seasonal self-employed people going to pay EI for 6 months and then collect for a year???

This is nuts!

Edited by Pat Coghlan
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I'd like to see an explanation of the problem Harper is trying to solve here. Why is there suddenly a need for self-employed people to participate in EI?

Extending EI coverage to the self employed is not a new idea.

Over the years, numerous organizations have called upon the federal government to provide Employment Insurance maternity and parental benefits to self-employed Canadians, including:

* Canadian Labour Congress (March 2008)

* Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (November 2007)

* Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (November 2007)

* Standing Committee on the Status of Women, Government of Canada (November 2005)

* Standing Committee on Human Resources Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities, Government of Canada (May 2001, February 2005)

* University of Guelph Centre for Families, Work and Well-Being (November 2003)

* Prime Minister’s Task Force on Women Entrepreneurs (October 2003)

* Canadian Bar Association (February 2003)

* Canadian Council on Social Development (Spring 2000)

http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/105194

One of the most striking changes in the Canadian workplace over the last few years has been the proliferation of non-standard jobs, notably self-employment. In 1998, there were more than 2,525,000 self-employed workers in Canada, including incorporated and non-incorporated workers, those with and without paid employees, and unpaid workers in family businesses. From 1990 to 1998, the self-employed portion of the total workforce increased substantially, from 14.4% to 17.6% (see Figure 1).

Self-employment has changed considerably in the last few years. The popular notion of a businessperson - typically a man - at the peak of his career making use of years of workplace experience to launch his own enterprise and employ others no longer describes conditions for many. Self-employed labor is becoming increasingly diverse. The proportion of female workers in this category is increasing. From 1990 to 1998, the number of self-employed women rose by more than 50%, from 591,000 to 891,000. In 1998, 13.7% of women in the labour market in Canada were self-employed, and more than 35% of self-employed people were women. The majority of these (59%) were between the ages of 20 and 45.

The types of work done by those who are self-employed are also changing. The vast majority of self-employed jobs created from 1990 to 1998 (75%) were non-incorporated businesses without paid employees. In 1998, 55% of self-employed jobs fell within this category, and more than three out of four self-employed women had a job of this type.

The quality of self-employment jobs can leave much to be desired. While self-employment can potentially result in a good job, a significant portion of the self-employed, particularly women without employees, are at the low end of the scale in the job market. In 1995, the before-tax average revenue of persons whose main source of income was self-employment was $30,800, or 91% of the average income of salaried employees. Those without employees earned even less, about 68% of the average income of salaried employees. Nearly half of the self-employed made less than $20,000 in 1995, while the proportion of salaried workers with similar low earnings stood at only 25%. Among the self-employed without employees, 55% earned less than $20,000. In addition, the gap between the earnings of men and women was greater among the self-employed than among other employees. For full-time work, self-employed women received 64% of the average revenue of self-employed men, compared to a figure of 73% among salaried employees.

----

The increasingly precarious job market and changes to EI have considerably reduced access to benefits conferred by the Act. Rapid increases in the number of self-employed workers and non-standard jobs over the last few years have created a large pool of labor without access to EI protections. Since the last decade has seen a steady drop in the number of people eligible for EI (see Figure 2), extending and improving parental leave available under EI seems insufficient. A government that encourages the growth of self-employment must not do so at the expense of families. In its Speech from the Throne, the federal government stated that parents and families have the primary responsibility for the care of their children. But governments have a responsibility to ensure that this remains possible. In the current climate, it seems difficult for self-employed women to find a way to spend the first months with their newborn children.

Given that the birth rate has continued to drop over the last few years, while the number of self-employed women continues to increase, this would be a highly appropriate time to intervene to improve the lives of self-employed women and their children.

http://www.ccsd.ca/perception/234/ml.htm

The CCSD is a very credible institution and non-partisan.

http://www.ccsd.ca/membership.htm

If it is managed like CPP, the self-employed person is going to have to pay both employer and employee portions, or about $3,600 per year.

This thing is going to be open to all kinds of abuse. For example, you can't quit a job and collect EI, except under certain circumstances. Are seasonal self-employed people going to pay EI for 6 months and then collect for a year???

This is nuts!

* The system will be voluntary. Self-employed Canadians can opt in to EI premiums and, in return, will be able to receive maternity and parental benefits.

* Self-employed Canadians would have access to the same type of maternity and parental benefits available to regular EI participants.[3]

* Self-employed entrepreneurs would be required to opt-in to EI premiums at least six months prior to making a claim.

* Exact premium amounts and required payments post-claim will be set upon implementation, following a review by the newly created Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board.

* Once this measure is fully implemented, rates will be set so that costs are fully offset by received premiums, just as with regular EI.

* The annual cost of this benefit is estimated to be $147 million, based in part on the take-up of a self-employed maternity and paternal benefits plan that is already offered by the Quebec Government. When implemented, the benefit would be fully funded by premiums within the EI plan; it would not affect the federal government’s budget.

http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/105194

Pat, there are lots of details available at the Conservative website that answer some of your questions. All in all, making making EI benefits available to the self employed is a question of fairness and will most benefit low income earning women who operate a small business. It is also consistent with the Conservatives' stated objective of helping families.

I bet the Liberals (the party of fairness and equality) regret they didn't think of this first.

Edited by capricorn
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Actually, the Liberals did think of it first. I heard on the news (sorry, no citation) that more than once, the Chretien Liberals had a similar plan but it was vetoed by the feminists in the Liberal Caucus and the Senate. These "progressive" women called the plan regressive because it would "encourage women to be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen". I still find it flabbergasting that there are some who refuse to recognize that the Family is the unit that holds society together.

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Pat, there are lots of details available at the Conservative website that answer some of your questions. All in all, making making EI benefits available to the self employed is a question of fairness and will most benefit low income earning women who operate a small business. It is also consistent with the Conservatives' stated objective of helping families.

I bet the Liberals (the party of fairness and equality) regret they didn't think of this first.

Hmmm, what is going to motivate all those "low income earning women who operate a small business" to pay $3,600 per year in EI premiums?

For most of my career (employee), I certainly would have NOT paid into EI given the choice, and saved myself about $36,000 and instead invested in my own EI "fund", e.g. in the shares of any Cdn bank.

I see much more potential to abuse this thing to "milk" the system, rather than as employment "insurance".

Please show me a typical small business person who is going to ante up $300/month to participate in EI. I think this is one of the first really dumb suggestions from the CPC.

Edited by Pat Coghlan
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Extending EI coverage to the self employed is not a new idea.

http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/105194

http://www.ccsd.ca/perception/234/ml.htm

The CCSD is a very credible institution and non-partisan.

http://www.ccsd.ca/membership.htm

http://www.conservative.ca/EN/1091/105194

Pat, there are lots of details available at the Conservative website that answer some of your questions. All in all, making making EI benefits available to the self employed is a question of fairness and will most benefit low income earning women who operate a small business. It is also consistent with the Conservatives' stated objective of helping families.

I bet the Liberals (the party of fairness and equality) regret they didn't think of this first.

You must not watch Question Period on c-pac. The oppositions has asked over and over again about this and the Cons have done nothing about this until now. It just another bribe for a vote!

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Pat, there are lots of details available at the Conservative website that answer some of your questions. All in all, making making EI benefits available to the self employed is a question of fairness and will most benefit low income earning women who operate a small business. It is also consistent with the Conservatives' stated objective of helping families.

I really want to hear how this helps families. Are they going to force all small business owners to pay their 200% share (business+employee portion)? Isn't that the only *fair* way to do it?

I can guarantee you that 80% or more of small business owners will OPT OUT of this proposed scheme, just as most employees would opt out unless they EXPECT to be out of work.

Now, if you're going to say that the government wants to encourage more women small business owners to quit working for a while to have children, why give this group financial support for this?

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The oppositions has asked over and over again about this and the Cons have done nothing about this until now. It just another bribe for a vote!

Funny. Respected advocacy groups have been calling for EI coverage and EI special benefits for the self-employed since at least the late nineties. Now who do you suppose was in power, say from 1995 to 2006 and for the most part in a majority? Then when they became the opposition in 2006 they clamored for a program change they had years to bring about. I guess they just didn't get it done.

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thanks for the info from the con website. i see some omissions here that need to be explained though..

self-employed but also non-incorporated? thats key and i see no mention of it. self-employed as in sole proprietor or partner etc... well, thats the same thing as being a t4 income earner. I don’t see any reason to have them not opt in and get benefits but… well, again, its not fair that they get to opt out again to those who have no choice.

now being self-employed myself where my income is discretionary on my part from an incorporation that I own… well, if they allow people like me to opt in and out then that’s highway robbery! my corporation could still be making money and I could decide not to pay myself for the period to ensure I qualify for the benefit, have those earnings pile up in company coffers, pay myself later after the benefits expire and opt out.

so, obviously, they must be talking about sole proprietors and partners only. or at least I would hope so…

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Please show me a typical small business person who is going to ante up $300/month to participate in EI. I think this is one of the first really dumb suggestions from the CPC.

I'll take this as a hypothetical question since neither you nor I can answer it from where we sit. The Canada Employment Insurance Financing Board (CEIFB) has responsibility for EI premium rate setting.

As part of the new approach to EI financing, pursuant to the CEIFB Act and amendments to the Employment Insurance Act, the CEIFB will be responsible for implementing an improved EI premium rate-setting mechanism that will ensure that EI revenues and expenditures break even over time. (include link to CEIFB information on the HRSDC site)

http://www.ei-ae.gc.ca/eng/ceic/ceic_home.shtml

It would stand to reason that given that mandate, should the Conservatives win the election the CEIFB will have to develop the necessary formula to set premium rates and qualifying conditions for self employed workers. All this conditional, of course, that the promise is kept. ;)

The above linked site has an excellent description of the present UI system which is, to say the least, very cumbersome and full of red tape.

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It would stand to reason that given that mandate, should the Conservatives win the election the CEIFB will have to develop the necessary formula to set premium rates and qualifying conditions for self employed workers. All this conditional, of course, that the promise is kept. ;)

The *rate* would be the same as for employees, except that the employer also pays an amount equal to what the employee pays, so the employee is only paying 50% of the total premium.

Self-employed people would have to pay the full freight, i.e. double the premium. This is how CPP works as well.

Self-employed people - like employees - can't opt out of CPP, but they WOULD opt out of EI...especially considering the $300/month premium. At least most self-employed people who aren't involved in seasonal-type work would.

So, back to my original question: what is the problem Harper is trying to solve with this idiotic proposal???

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Now, if you're going to say that the government wants to encourage more women small business owners to quit working for a while to have children, why give this group financial support for this?

This Pat, is a very good point. Over the years the Employment Insurance program has drifted away from its original purpose. Remember it used to be called Unemployment Insurance. It is becoming a program to address societal needs, parental leave, compassionate leave etc. and provide medical insurance. The problem is, reversing the trend to make it truly a bridging program between jobs would be seen as a step backward by society at large.

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The *rate* would be the same as for employees, except that the employer also pays an amount equal to what the employee pays, so the employee is only paying 50% of the total premium.

Pat, I'll take your word for it that the rates would be as you see it. I'm really not up to researching that aspect of the proposed policy. In addition, I have no way of knowing whether the self employed would opt in or out of the EI program and really, neither do you.

So, back to my original question: what is the problem Harper is trying to solve with this idiotic proposal???

If you took the time to read the policy outline and backgrounder in the party's website that I linked earlier in response to one of your posts, you'd see where the Conservatives are coming from.

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Funny. Respected advocacy groups have been calling for EI coverage and EI special benefits for the self-employed since at least the late nineties. Now who do you suppose was in power, say from 1995 to 2006 and for the most part in a majority? Then when they became the opposition in 2006 they clamored for a program change they had years to bring about. I guess they just didn't get it done.

You're right.... the Chretien Liberals had a similar plan but it was vetoed by the feminists in the Liberal Caucus and the Senate on more than one occasion. These "progressive" women called the plan regressive because it would "encourage women to be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen". I still find it flabbergasting that there are some who refuse to recognize that the Family is the unit that holds society together.

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These "progressive" women called the plan regressive because it would "encourage women to be pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen".

The irony is that the position taken by these feminazis went counter to their fairness and equality manifesto. I find them strangely silent these days.

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If you took the time to read the policy outline and backgrounder in the party's website that I linked earlier in response to one of your posts, you'd see where the Conservatives are coming from.

Okay, I've just had a look.

It certainly is being sold as a plan to give access to parental/maternity benefits, but there are no disclaimers that it would be LIMITED to such benefits. The CBC article states "his party will give self-employed Canadians the chance to opt in to the employment insurance system, providing them with parental leave and other EI benefits". I would interpret this as the genie being out of the bottle.

Practically speaking, though, my guess is that most opting-in will occur in cases of pregnancy. What is unfair about this is that, once benefits are claimed, the self-employed can simply opt-out...forever. No matter how you look at it, the proposal is a scam. Note that most employees who take maternity benefits will probably return to work and be required to continue paying EI premiums...forever, and will repay those benefits 2 or 3 times over during a career. Not so for the self-employed. Once their family is complete, most will never opt in again.

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Okay, I've just had a look.

It certainly is being sold as a plan to give access to parental/maternity benefits, but there are no disclaimers that it would be LIMITED to such benefits. The CBC article states "his party will give self-employed Canadians the chance to opt in to the employment insurance system, providing them with parental leave and other EI benefits". I would interpret this as the genie being out of the bottle.

Practically speaking, though, my guess is that most opting-in will occur in cases of pregnancy. What is unfair about this is that, once benefits are claimed, the self-employed can simply opt-out...forever. No matter how you look at it, the proposal is a scam. Note that most employees who take maternity benefits will probably return to work and be required to continue paying EI premiums...forever, and will repay those benefits 2 or 3 times over during a career. Not so for the self-employed. Once their family is complete, most will never opt in again.

According to the winnipeg sun's calculations one could pay a maximum 833 dollars in premiums over six months and then be able to collect up to $21,750.00 dollars in benefits over 50 weeks. This is soooo open to abuse. Hell anyone want to start a company called "earn 21,700 dollars a year from an 833 investment"? Next year we can declare that company dead so that we don't have to don't have to continue paying the premiums, and start a new company named How to screw the wage earners out of all that surplus in the EI program, since we already blew all the federal surplus. Maybe we should just call it "how to turn another 833 dollars into another 21700 dollars."

This is almost as dumb as Mcfayden's "bring the jets back" promise.

Edited by DrGreenthumb
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According to the winnipeg sun's calculations one could pay a maximum 833 dollars in premiums over six months and then be able to collect up to $21,750.00 dollars in benefits over 50 weeks. This is soooo open to abuse. Hell anyone want to start a company called "earn 21,700 dollars a year from an 833 investment"? Next year we can declare that company dead so that we don't have to don't have to continue paying the premiums, and start a new company named How to screw the wage earners out of all that surplus in the EI program, since we already blew all the federal surplus. Maybe we should just call it "how to turn another 833 dollars into another 21700 dollars."

This is almost as dumb as Mcfayden's "bring the jets back" promise.

Yet not as dumb as the NDP screw the entrepreneur platform. The EI program gets abused by workers as well, why should entrepreneurs who pay the employees EI (deducted from paycheck) not be allowed to access it. There are lots of small business owners who could benefit from this should an unforseen disaster happen. But then small business would get ahead and the NDP would have a bird. But then that's why 85 percent of Canadians think the NDP is a crock.

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Yet not as dumb as the NDP screw the entrepreneur platform. The EI program gets abused by workers as well, why should entrepreneurs who pay the employees EI (deducted from paycheck) not be allowed to access it. There are lots of small business owners who could benefit from this should an unforseen disaster happen. But then small business would get ahead and the NDP would have a bird. But then that's why 85 percent of Canadians think the NDP is a crock.

get a grip I just pointed out how easy this would be to abuse. I guess the businessman wants to be on more "equal" ground with his employees that have it so much better than the "poor entrepreneur" So I'm guessing when the business gets really profitable the employee should get a fair share of THAT benefit too huh? Gonna give all the wage slaves a big bonus check so they can afford a trip to the carribean like the boss takes every year? You cons are really so out of touch with reality, youu actually believe that the wealthy have it rough. If you think the wage earners have it so good go try and live on the minimum wage for a while, and remember Harper thinks 10 an hour is too much money for companies to have to pay their employees.

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