Easter says Islanders frustrated over EI changes
P.E.I. Liberal MP Wayne Easter says his Malpeque constituency office has been flooded with calls from Islanders frustrated over changes to employment insurance.
In early August, the federal government made changes to the amount of money clawed back from employees who are working part-time while on EI.
"The government was promoting it that there would be a benefit to those while working on claim. They would be able to keep more of what they earn, and it's the direct opposite," Easter said.
"They end up with less for having worked part-time while on claim. And that is going entirely the wrong direction."
Human Resources Minister Diane Finley had said the EI changes would reward people who work part-time work.
But Easter says the changes mean part-time workers on EI are losing half of their hourly wage.
On average, he says he's heard of people making $130 to $140 less per pay cheque.
He says this could result in Maritime employers finding it harder to fill part-time positions.
As fall arrives, he expects more Islanders will be negatively impacted by the changes.
"It'll be very much worse because we have the fishery winding down, and we have tourism about over and you have agriculture cutting back so the benefit of the system is people could draw their EI, work a few hours and claim because businesses, especially this time of year don't need [them] to work the amount of hours they did," he said.
"So they can only offer a day, a day and a half, and now people who work there are losing half their pay of those hours worked. Absolutely unacceptable."