St. John’s - Residents of Newfoundland Labrador are not happy with the direction being taken by the Dunderdale government on pensions, public sector jobs and other issues according to a Vector Research poll commissioned by CUPE in June.
Two-thirds of people surveyed oppose the government’s plan to cut 1200 public sector jobs, and only eight percent think public sector pension plans are in “crisis.”
“This poll clearly shows that voters think the Dunderdale government is taking us down the wrong path, especially when it comes to the public services Newfoundlanders and Labradorians value,” says CUPE Newfoundland Labrador President Wayne Lucas.
“In fact, the majority of people polled feel that the finance minister is exaggerating the threat to the plans in order to justify cutting them back.”
Nearly one-third of those polled said that improving health care was the most important item for the provincial government to work on, while only 13 percent thought reducing the budget deficit was most important. Nearly 60 percent said they would be willing to pay more taxes in order to reduce the deficit if the increase were equally shared by everyone.
The results also show that residents of Newfoundland Labrador overwhelmingly favour expanding the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) instead of relying on the private sector for retirement savings plans. Seventy-five percent of respondents are in favour of gradually increasing CPP premiums over seven years to double the benefits. And 45 percent said they preferred a defined benefit plan, compared with 27 percent who favoured a defined contribution plan.
“This poll clearly shows that the people of Newfoundland Labrador don’t trust this government on the important issues that affect their daily lives,” says Lucas. “In fact, if an election was called now, Premier Dunderdale would have a hard time getting re-elected - 39 percent of respondents said they would vote NDP if an election were called tomorrow, compared with 25 percent who would vote Conservative. That’s a pretty low approval rating if you ask me.”
Vector Research polled 306 Newfoundland Labrador residents using computer assisted telephone interviews June 13-18, 2013. The margin of error is plus/minus 5.6 percent with 95 percent confidence.
CUPE represents 6,000 members in Newfoundland Labrador and over 600,000 members Canada wide.