If re-elected, the Liberals will raise the guaranteed income supplement by $500 for single seniors and $750 for senior couples per year, the party announced Thursday.
Single people living in Canada aged 65 and older qualify for the GIS if their income is below $18,984 and they receive old age security.
The monthly GIS payment maxed out at $1,174.49 for the April to June payment period. The GIS is reviewed quarterly to reflect increases in the consumer price index.
The Liberals also said Thursday that their government would help seniors “stay in their homes longer and work with the provinces and territories to improve long-term care so seniors are safe and comfortable wherever they live.” No further details were provided.
The Liberals have yet to release their full party platform.
The NDP called on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to reverse GIS clawbacks that resulted from seniors drawing the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.
“Because the GIS is income-tested, many seniors who received CERB last year are unexpectedly having their GIS payments cut or eliminated this year,” the NDP said Thursday in a release.
The NDP has pledged to provide a “basic guaranteed livable income for seniors” and to create a pension advisory commission to enhance CPP, OAS and GIS.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, proposed to encourage more seniors to age in their homes through an enhanced home accessibility tax credit ($10,000 per person, rather than per dwelling). Seniors and their caregivers would be eligible to claim the medical expense tax credit for home care, and the party would also create a Canada seniors care benefit of $200 per month per household for anyone living with and caring for a parent over 70.
In the 2021 federal budget, the Liberal government increased OAS payments for older seniors. Seniors who will be 75 or older as of June 2022 received a one-time $500 special payment the week of Aug. 16., and payments for people 75 and older will rise by 10% on an ongoing basis beginning in July 2022.