Liberals promise pension increase
On day one of Newfoundland and Labrador's election campaign, the Liberals made a major pledge to public service pensioners.
Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward, who spoke at an association rally on the steps of Confederation Building, promised to provide a one-time increase to public sector pensioners of 2.5 per cent.
After that, a Liberal government would make annual increases equivalent to the Consumer Price Index, or CPI, up to 2 per cent.
Provincial public service pensions in Newfoundland and Labrador are not indexed.
"I just want to say that on this issue and our Liberal party platform, we are proposing an increase in pensions this time," said Liberal Leader Kevin Aylward to members of the Public Sector Pensioners Association.
He failed to give a dollar amount on how much the plan would cost but said the Liberals are working on looking at the province's books.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance told CBC News that the Liberals' plan would add $1.2 billion in additional liabilities to the pension plan.
Aylward criticized the Progressive Conservatives for not spending money on the pensioners.
"It is in our platform and it is the right thing to do. And they're spending money on a lot of other things, let me tell you."
In addition to the monetary increases, Aylward said a Liberal government would set up a special task force with members of the pensioners' association to determine if more improvements can be made.
"Healthy pension plans for all retirees is a critical part of supporting the seniors of our province," said Aylward.
The association has had a lengthy battle with government to get an increase for public service pensioners but has been unable to secure extra funding.