At Eurospa in Ottawa’s east end, the Conservative leader announced that his party will give self-employed Canadians the chance to opt in to the employment insurance system, providing them with parental leave and other EI benefits…
The self-employed business owners who choose to participate could collect employment insurance or parental benefits once they had worked enough hours to qualify, even if their business collapsed.
The article points out that this is a program aimed directly at professional women, a demographic that the Conservatives struggle to reach. After all, they did announce the thing in a spa. I wonder if the Prime Minister got his toes painted.
Sue makes some salient points in critiquing the plan:
If optional, how would you control the quality of the business owners paying into the plan. YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re much more likely to see Ã¢â‚¬Å“marginally successfulÃ¢â‚¬Â business owners paying in, because theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the ones who expect to have to collect. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not going to work, because you will have far too many outputs to cover from the inputs.
If the plan is mandatory, youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re basically taxing all the successful entrepreneurs to support the unsuccessful ones. Um ex-squeeze me? Not over my dead body!! As a successful OR unsuccessful entrepreneur, a mandatory EI program leaves a very bad taste in my mouth.
I agree with Sue about the kinds of business which are likeliest to opt in. It’s hard to imagine how the plan will pay for itself in the long run.
I hope the plan remains optional (that’s how it sounds from the article), because otherwise it’s essentially a tax on the small business owner. When you become self-employed, you adopt greater risk in order to potentially reap greater reward. I’m comfortable with that, and don’t need my government to soften the blow should my business fail.
That said, I do think extending paid family leave to the self-employed is a good move. There are plenty of proven social benefits from such a program that extend beyond the individual.
What do you think?