US & Canada

Trudeau: Canada's retirement age to shift to 65 from 67

Justin Trudeau during a Bloomberg interview Image copyright AP
Image caption Mr Trudeau said moving up the retirement age was a 'mistake'

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said that he will lower eligibility for Old Age Security to age 65 from 67, reversing his predecessor's policy.

The Liberal government's first budget, to be announced next week, will include the policy, he told Bloomberg TV.

He called former Prime Minster Stephen Harper's policy a "simplistic solution to a complex problem that won't work".

He said the budget will also include investment for "much-needed" infrastructure projects.

Moving the retirement age up to 67, which was not set to kick in until 2023, was a "mistake", Mr Trudeau said.

"How we care for our most vulnerable in society is really important," he said, and the challenge of encouraging people to stay healthy and stay in the workforce longer is a more complex issue.

In the US, the opposite is being discussed and some Republicans are calling for cuts to the programme or to privatize it.

Conservative employment, workforce and labour critic, Gerard Deltell, said Mr Trudeau's decision was made for "bad political reasons," according to the CBC.

"It's the wrong call for the economy and the wrong call for the people because at 65 years old people are still in good shape and many of them would like to continue to work... Putting the retirement age at 67 was the most responsible way."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Trudeau has advocated for more government spending to jump start the ailing economy

The Liberal budget is bucking austerity for the idea that the government can move the economy, he said.

"What we're looking at is not so much trying to jolt the economy into life, as trying to lay the groundwork, the foundation for better productivity over the long term, and not just an influx of cash," he said during the televised town hall.

Mr Trudeau ran his election on the promise of running deficits, which he said helped secure his win.

"We had made that announcement, and the left-wing New Democratic Party had announced they were going to balance the budget at all costs, just like the Conservative government," he said. "The day we said, 'No, it's time to invest in the future of our country' and they confirmed they weren't, I got home to my wife and I said: 'I'm pretty sure we just won the election.'"

He said that Canada will lead on climate change despite its important oil-producing sector.

Ask about the US presidential election and Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Mr Trudeau said "we're going to see what Americans are made of in this upcoming election".

"I have tremendous confidence in Americans' capacity to get the right result through their electoral system," he said.

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