Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Conservatives to help forgotten self employees

In the last election one of the central planks in their election campaign was replacing universal child care with $100/month per child under the age of six. It was a popular promise for those who would not have access to the child care due to regional demographics or not working a regular 9-5 work shift. It took until near the end of the Liberals 13 years in power to finally follow through on the long time election promise. The Liberals further bungled when an advisor suggested that Canadians were not capable of deciding the best way for the money to be spent. The Liberals have admitted defeat as they have offered to increase the amount provided by an extra $29/month.

The Conservatives have offered an equally credible election plank. They are going to allow self-employed workers to opt in to the Employment Insurance system. This will allow working from home mothers to get the same maternity benefits as everyone else. It may also take some of the sting out of applying for credit, as banks often don't treat self employment income as real income for application purposes. With 100,000 manufacturing jobs disappearing in Ontario and more job losses expected across the country, people are going to be looking at starting a business to get back on their feet. At least they have the comfort of knowing help in cases where the business does not succeed.

The best part of this promise is it will not cost the government any money. Any costs associated through the newly qualified people can be made up in insurance premiums. If successful their contributions could bring down the overall premiums for everyone else. This will be one plank that the other parties will have difficulty criticizing.

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