Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the hon. member for Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing for her question.
She mentioned the anniversary that we are all marking today and also the question of imagination. If she does look back over this government's record over the past year, she will see a lot of imagination in the breadth and the depth of the measures we have taken to ensure that growth, employment, jobs and long-term prosperity remain central to this Parliament's work and central to our government's program. She also seemed to be uncertain as to whether our old age security program was sustainable or unsustainable and she cited the OECD.
The essential point here is that most jurisdictions within the OECD have already acted on this. We in Canada, by taking the measures we are taking, are only recognizing what has been known to responsible stewards of the public trust and of our budgetary future to be necessary for some time.
I will share with the member opposite some of the facts relating to the changes we will be making to OAS.
No current beneficiaries will be affected. People currently receiving old age security will not lose a cent. The changes we are making will begin in 2023, as she knows, and will gradually, over a period of six years, raise eligibility by two years. As announced in Canada's economic action plan, which we are debating in this House this week, we will be discussing the impact of this change on the Canada pension plan, disability and survivor benefits with the provinces and territories as part of the next triennial review. I can also assure the member that the government will make the necessary changes to federal income support programs that provide benefits until age 65, including those offered by Veterans Affairs and Aboriginal Affairs, to ensure they are aligned with changes to OAS. We will also compensate the provinces for the net additional costs they face resulting from the increase in the age of eligibility for OAS.
Canadians need to know that because of our aging population, because our birthrate is lower than it has been in the past and because life expectancy has gone up, these measures are prudent and necessary. In fact, by 2030, for the first time ever we will have more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 20. The number of seniors will double over the next two decades. This is not unique in the world. The United Nations reports that in 2005 10% of the world's population was 60 years of age or older. By 2050, this number will reach 22%.
If we have fewer workers, we risk being less productive, which could have a negative impact on our economic growth.
With fewer workers paying taxes, we may face a shortfall in revenue and that is why changes to OAS are needed now. I want to be clear that these changes will not affect CPP. It is funded through premiums paid by employers, employees and the self-employed. It is a contributions-based, earnings-related social insurance program and it is a secure plan. It is regarded internationally as a model, actuarially sound and recently confirmed to be such by the Chief Actuary to be sustainable for the next 75 years.
I will now highlight some of the measures our government has introduced to demonstrate our commitment to supporting people with disabilities. We have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. We have created the registered disabilities savings plan to help those with disabilities and their families save for the future. We have also created an enabling accessibility fund that has helped people with disabilities participate more fully in their communities by improving access to facilities, activities and services.
Our government supports the full inclusion of all Canadians in our workplace and our society. We are anxious to see Canadians who are leading longer lives benefiting from these strong social programs, by any international standard, well into the future in the decades and the generations to come.