One program for "long tenured workers" will require them to use part of their severance money to pay for retraining if they want Employment Insurance benefits.It would seem obvious that the last thing any terminated worker needs is for the federal government to go out of its way to make matters worse. But for "long-tenured workers", that's exactly what the Cons are doing.
The mandatory use of severance money prompted an angry response from Irene Mathyssen, the New Democratic Party MP in whose riding Harper touted his government's spending plans.
"He is basically saying we are going to bleed these people dry who have already lost their jobs and a great deal of hope for their future," she said.
After all, before the budget made any changes, those workers would have been able to collect EI after receiving their severance. But thanks to the Con/Lib budget, they're now facing either a requirement to use their own severance money to fund retraining which may not serve any individual purpose, or a loss of the EI benefits which they've helped to fund in their previous tenure at work.
Which is a particularly rich move coming from the government which has built its brand around "putting money in pockets" through random tax cuts aimed at buying votes rather than achieving positive policy results. But apparently seeing laid-off workers as unlikely to support the government which oversaw their termination, the Cons have decided to further punish those who are already feeling the brunt of the economic downturn - and shown exactly where their priorities lie in the process.