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EI: Entitlement, Right or Insurance

Lightguns

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This came out on another thread and I did not want to go off topic.

In 1972 UI paid one days pay for every week worked and the length of collection was limited only to the amount of time you had worked.  There was no UI for quitters or retirees. Trudeau changed this to 70% of your pay for up to 52 weeks with only 8 weeks work. Almost overnight in Atlantic Canada there was a labour shortage in winter seasonal work.

There has been changes but no government has returned the program to an unemployed safety net.  Preferring instead to use EI as a self financing regional subsidy to discourage independence amongst the poorest workers.

Is EI a government entitlement or workplace financed insurance program?

Edited for grammar.
 

Lightguns

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Certainly it is not insurance. The allows repeat users to draw benefits year after year without any premium increase. The program is arbitrary; a lobster boat captain can draw EI on his self employed earnings but a farmer cannot.
 

a_majoor

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Perhaps the system shoudl be changed to a true insurance model: you insure some or all of your income, and your premium is based on how much income you insure.

Income insurance would reverse the incentives; people with low paying jobs would be looking to upgrade, work full time or otherwise get more income (living off 8 weeks of part time or seasonal wages would not be a rational choice) since the income insurance system would not offer high payouts for part time or seasonal work. High income people might choose not to insure all their income, but contract workers with irregular income streams might want to do so.

And of course, since this is a true insurance system, the Federal Government would not be able to get their hands on the accumulated premiums in the fund (perhaps the biggest bonus of all). Indeed, with the appropriate legislation, "II" would not even be a government program at all. Just go shop around with a friendly insurance broker.
 

Halifax Tar

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I'm drawing EI right now while on PATA leave.  I have contributed to this program my whole working life and I feel no remorse getting to draw some from it.

Lightguns do you feel this is an abuse ? 
 

Lightguns

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Halifax Tar said:
I'm drawing EI right now while on PATA leave.  I have contributed to this program my whole working life and I feel no remorse getting to draw some from it.

Lightguns do you feel this is an abuse ?

Of course not anyone who pays into the system for great lengths of time should not feel they are abusers if the system. Why would you think it's an abuse?  MATA is a valid social program in an age of 2 income families.  I am speaking of generational EI users. Work 10 weeks take 40 off plus your 2 weeks waiting period. Or my NB favourite go on EI and work for your employer for cash.

I met a lady the other day who says EI is her Right as an Acadian to keep her nation together on their native soil to resist English oppression. That's an interesting reason for generational EI dependence.
 

Lightguns

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The insurance model is exactly where I was hoping the discussion would and you have laid it out nicely. No government beyond the legal framework. What effect that would have the social aspect would be interesting as much of the off season work in the high EI use areas is no mechanized. There is a huge cash economy in the poorest parts of Canada so the work is there.
 

George Wallace

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Lightguns said:
I met a lady the other day who says EI is her Right as an Acadian to keep her nation together on their native soil to resist English oppression. That's an interesting reason for generational EI dependence.

That is one of the most absurd things I have ever heard.  Was any inbreeding a factor here?
 

Halifax Tar

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Lightguns said:
Of course not anyone who pays into the system for great lengths of time should not feel they are abusers if the system. Why would you think it's an abuse?  MATA is a valid social program in an age of 2 income families.  I am speaking of generational EI users. Work 10 weeks take 40 off plus your 2 weeks waiting period. Or my NB favourite go on EI and work for your employer for cash.

I met a lady the other day who says EI is her Right as an Acadian to keep her nation together on their native soil to resist English oppression. That's an interesting reason for generational EI dependence.

No worries just wanted to be sure. 
 

marinemech

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One day, it will not be there, as the EI well will be dried up. I only had to be on it twice in the last 10 years, i did not want to go on it, 1st time i was on it for 6 weeks due to a really lackluster economy, after the bubble burst in the US in 2008/9. Second time was a bit longer and intentional, as i was going to school so i got special permission to bend the rules, and was on it 3 months, then i found temp work till school started and then again for another 10 months, so a total of 13 months, they allowed me to overdraw by a fair bit.

Depending on the circumstance it can be a entitlement(going to college in a town of 1500 people where most things are closed during the winter), it is a insurance for times, like right now where the economy is not so hot.
 

Infanteer

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Thucydides said:
Perhaps the system shoudl be changed to a true insurance model: you insure some or all of your income, and your premium is based on how much income you insure.

Income insurance would reverse the incentives; people with low paying jobs would be looking to upgrade, work full time or otherwise get more income (living off 8 weeks of part time or seasonal wages would not be a rational choice) since the income insurance system would not offer high payouts for part time or seasonal work. High income people might choose not to insure all their income, but contract workers with irregular income streams might want to do so.

And of course, since this is a true insurance system, the Federal Government would not be able to get their hands on the accumulated premiums in the fund (perhaps the biggest bonus of all). Indeed, with the appropriate legislation, "II" would not even be a government program at all. Just go shop around with a friendly insurance broker.

I concur with this - it should be like auto insurance.  My premiums should be going down since I've never used EI.
 

PPCLI Guy

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Infanteer said:
I concur with this - it should be like auto insurance.  My premiums should be going down since I've never used EI.

I am okay with 40% plus of my salary financing general government programs - it comes with citizenship.  I am not okay with financing a specific benefit with contributions tied to that benefit if I will never draw from the fund.

I have never collected, and will never collect EI benefits.  I should be able to opt out of the entire scheme.
 

Infanteer

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Car insurance is mandatory, I don't see a huge problem if EI is the same.  However, my car insurance premiums are pretty low as I don't purchase comprehensive and I don't get in accidents - I want that same effect with EI.
 

Nemo888

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No one has ever figured out how to have capitalism and full employment. There seems to be no way to have full employment and free markets. Since unemployment and cyclical economic highs and lows are inevitable with the current system a safety net like mandatory employment insurance seems reasonable. Currently the premiums are much too high as the surplus is taken by the government to fund other programs.

I like the idea of raising premiums on repeat users.
 

George Wallace

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PPCLI Guy said:
I am okay with 40% plus of my salary financing general government programs - it comes with citizenship.  I am not okay with financing a specific benefit with contributions tied to that benefit if I will never draw from the fund.

I have never collected, and will never collect EI benefits.  I should be able to opt out of the entire scheme.

Only problem with that is that you will not know that you will never collect, nor able to collect, until after the fact. 
 

Kat Stevens

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I was 48 years old the first time I went on EI, never saw it coming, and if it had not been available to me, I would have been well and truly fucked.  Senior officers don't usually have that problem though, people seem to line up to throw money at them.
 

Lightguns

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Roger that. In 94 I moved from Ottawa to Fredericton and had to fight two appeal boards for my one and only drawing. I was refused EI because I moved from a place high employment to a place of high unemployment. I was 2/3 through my time period before I saw cheque and then only because of a lawyer friend.  It was a piss from especially all the professional students who worked summers to go to university winters and collect EI under the radar.
 

X Royal

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One question that should be asked is where are the funds for EI coming from?
Not the government but employees and their employers.
Yes the government administers the program but they don't fund it.
Ever wonder why they have made it harder to draw benefits, it's simple the more surpluses in the fund the more they can siphon off.
 

George Wallace

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X Royal said:
One question that should be asked is where are the funds for EI coming from?
Not the government but employees and their employers.
Yes the government administers the program but they don't fund it.
Ever wonder why they have made it harder to draw benefits, it's simple the more surpluses in the fund the more they can siphon off.

And where do you think Government revenues come from?  "Not from the government"; but from John Q Public and Business.  As I asked you earlier, "Who signs the cheques?"  The Government.  They collect it from you, me, every other employee and 'Business' through Taxes, and then administer the movement of those monies and all payments there of. 
 

X Royal

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Nemo888 said:
I like the idea of raising premiums on repeat users.
I like the idea of leaving the funds in the program for which their collected and adjusting down the premiums if surpluses are getting up there.
As for raising premiums for repeat users I think the system of reduced benefits for them is the way to go.
 
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