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View Deb Schulte Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much for that question. It is an important one.
Those who are on old age security, OAS, with an income of up to $80,000 will receive the full amount of old age security. Above that, they would have normally gotten a claw-back. That is 7% of the seniors who are on old age security. Just to make that clear, 6.7 million seniors are on old age security, and the majority of those, 93%, are living under the $80,000 cut-off limit.
I'm saying that it's not a lot of money. You're making it sound like rich people are getting this benefit. There is a very small number of people who may be getting this and who are deemed to be in more well-off circumstances, but the majority—as I said, over 90%—are seniors who are trying to cope with these additional costs that are making it difficult for them to put food on the table and make ends meet.
There are statistics and information that we've been getting about the incredible rise of seniors going to the food bank just to try to get enough food on the table, and they can't pay for the medicines they need. The most important thing was to get a payment as quickly as possible into the hands of those seniors who were struggling, and that was the objective of the government. It's why we had the one-time payment option go to old age security recipients and guaranteed income supplement recipients, so we didn't have to make them apply. You've already heard from some of your other committee members where some of those challenges are. We wanted to get it into the hands of the seniors.
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