EI surplus hits $51 billion

Taxpayers' federation calls for harmonized premium of $1.59
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|hrreporter.com|Last Updated: 07/11/2007

The employment insurance surplus has hit $51 billion, according to briefing notes prepared for Human Resources Minister Monte Solberg. That's an increase of $7 billion from the beginning of 2004, when the surplus sat at $44 billion.

Over the years, critics have demanded the government cut EI premiums so they're in line with the actual cost of the benefit. The chief actuary of Human Resources has said that the EI program doesn't need more than a $15-billion cushion, even in hard times.

The government has been using this excess cash as it wants, either for new spending or for tax cuts. So instead of using the money to better protect workers, the government is using the program as a revenue generator, said the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.