Morneau rejects making EI fund independent


OTTAWA – Finance Minister Bill Morneau is firmly rejecting the idea of making Canada’s employment insurance fund independent of the federal government.

Morneau tells The Canadian Press the current system works and there are no plans to change it.

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois have long wanted the fund to be independent to prevent governments from using surpluses to reduce budget deficits or pay down debt.

Employment insurance surpluses were $3.5 billion in 2014 and $2.2 billion in 2015, with the money going directly into government coffers.

Morneau said in a round-table interview today an actuarial report is conducted every year to help the government set the ideal insurance premium.

NDP MP Guy Caron, however, says workers and employers should determine for themselves how to spend the money in the fund and decide whether to lower premiums.