David Coletto, Pollster for the Sun News Network
In last week’s tabling of the second budget implementation bill, the federal government announced major changes to the pension plans of MPs and federal public servants.
Starting in January 2013, all federal government employees will have to make larger contributions to their pension, 50% up from 37%.
Moreover, all new public servants can no longer take early retirement at 55. The minimum retirement age has been raised to 65.
These reforms make sense when you consider the quickly approaching demographic tsunami approaching. It’s right that employees and employers pay their fair share into taxpayer-funded pension plans.
But how is the public likely to react to these proposals?
Do Canadians want the federal budget balanced?
Yes they do. In fact, almost seven in ten told us in a survey earlier this year, and reported in Sun newspapers, that balancing the federal budget should be either a very high or high priority.
When asked how the government should get to a balanced budget, most Canadians preferred an approach that sought to cut spending as opposed to one that increased taxes. Almost half, 48%, of respondents were likely to prefer a combination that stressed spending cuts over tax increases.
The estimated $2.6 billion in savings without any increase in taxes is what most of us want to hear.