Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014


The Ruination of a Nation

Part time jobs equals full-time poverty

Submitted by Myrtle MacDonald, Chilliwack

here is another way that EI is unfair. Most people working in part time jobs can virtually never qualify for EI. My son was one one such person. He worked hard and employers liked him, but could not afford to help him when his tools were stolen or when his vehicle broke down.

There were plenty of other men waiting for a job who were quickly hired in his place, even though the employer liked him and usually had him teach a new man. No bank would help properly. There should have been miniloans.

Eventually when he was over 57-years-old and had already acquired a variety of skills, he got a line of credit of $150. Big deal!! He died of chronic kidney disease. He was malnourished because of sporadic low pay. The food bank was far away and allowed one visit per month. It was mostly white bread and pasta, anyway.

I am getting terribly weary trying to get across to smug people that more than half of the adult population are paid by the hour. Their income is short term off again, on again. It adds up to less than if they were on welfare, less than minimum wage.

Yes, some give up. They have to. They are not lazy. Without a phone, even if they have an address, their boss canít inform them where the job is today. The work is in constantly changing locations. Without transportation they canít get to work.

A friend who graduated with a university degree, is unemployed though she has submitted resumes to hundreds of employers. You should see the hopelessness on her lovely face.

Our government do not understand and donít even try. They deceive themselves that the Unemployment Rate is 7% or less. What is really needed is the Underemployment Rate. How many earn only between $5000 and $20,000 in a year?

If there are children, this is severe poverty. It is poverty also for a single person in construction work. He cannot keep his car running, pay for his tools, work boots and hat, rent, utilities and phone, medications, physiotherapy, dental care and good food on $20,000 per year, especially if the pay cheques are irregular or seasonal. A large percentage is deducted.

Forced to share an apartment with others who are down and out, there is no lock to protect their tools, so they get stolen, and so do their work boots, helmet and coat, laundry detergent and food.

One employer demanded that my son wear a white uniform that he had to pay for himself. It soon got splashed with paint.

Canít something be done to reward employers to hire men for full-time long-term jobs? Just reducing taxes doesnít help. There is no connection. Think about it. Pray about it. Part time casual jobs are the ruination of Canada.

Myrtle Macdonald, M.Sc. Applied (in Nursing Research and Education), McGill University. She is a retired registered nurse living in Chilliwack and now working with the local chapter of the BC Schizophrenia Association. She worked as a street nurse for many years in places like India and Montreal. She turned 93 in June and is one of the Voice's most popular contributors.


SOURCE Restaurants Canada

New EI tax credit could be better
TORONTO, Sept. 11, 2014 - Minister Joe Oliver's announcement of reduced payroll taxes is good news for many restaurateurs, but an arbitrary cut-off of $15,000 in premium payments means not all will benefit in the labour-intensive restaurant industry.

In a recent Restaurants Canada survey, seven out of 10 restaurants said high labour costs are having a negative effect on their businesses. Restaurants Canada members have consistently identified payroll taxes as an obstacle to job creation because they are the most regressive form of taxation on jobs.

Young people under the age of 25 are particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of high payroll taxes, and are most likely to get passed over for jobs and suffer an above-average share of job losses.

"The regressive nature of payroll taxes discourages employers from hiring youth because the tax rate compared to their wages is disproportionately high," said Joyce Reynolds, Restaurants Canada Executive Vice President Government Affairs. "A way to make the tax more progressive and benefit youth job seekers would have been a tax credit program focused on youth hires."

As a more long-term solution, Restaurants Canada proposes a Year's Basic Exemption (YBE) in the employment insurance program modelled after the CPP program's YBE. This model is a cost-effective way to provide targeted payroll tax relief to the groups most punished by this form of taxation Ė entry-level workers and labour-intensive businesses.

Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) is a national association comprising 30,000 businesses in every segment of the foodservice industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Through advocacy, research, and member programs and services, Restaurants Canada is dedicated to helping its members in every community grow and prosper.

Canada's restaurant industry directly employs more than 1.1 million Canadians, contributes $68 billion a year to the Canadian economy, and serves more than 18 million customers every day.


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