Governments plunder EI fund

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Editor: On the front page of the Guardian of April 15 is a story about "New EI regions to increase payments to rural P.E.I." In this story is a sentence that irritates me immensely.

The reason? Because it perpetuates the lie that the Harper Government persists in making, surrounding EI.

The sentence? "Costs for the feds will, in fact, be increased for the P.E.I. changes."

In fact, there is no cost to the feds!

EI is an insurance plan funded by employers and employees, and not like government taxes, for government use through general revenues.

If this fund were set-up like the CPP (and it should be) the government wouldn't be able to pilfer from the EI fund, like it is general tax revenue for general government purposes.

Like any insurance plan, the EI is for the express protection of the benefactor (employee) while unemployed. It is the employee and the employer who pay the premiums, much like a pension plan set-up.

Successive governments have continued to plunder this fund, to offset deficits, to the detriment of unemployed workers via lower payments; fewer weeks of pay; and, making it much more difficult to access.

Therefore, I also do not support the Harper regimes tinkering with the EI insurance plan (regions and all) as they persist in doing, to provide government with even more dollars to fritter away, while workers and their families are made to suffer.

- Robert Crockett,Charlottetown

Geographic location: EI regions, Charlottetown

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