NDP announces plan to help ‘sandwich generation’

New Democrat leader Jack Layton unveiled more practical steps to help take the strain off the family budget. Layton is proposing new measures to provide support for families caring for aging parents, while at the same time building a future for their kids.

“After five years of Stephen Harper, too many families are still fending for themselves when their parents become ill,” Layton said. “Stephen Harper’s answer is an 82-cent daily allowance - that proves Ottawa is broken, but I’ve got a plan to fix it.”

Layton announced an Inter-generational Forgivable Loan Program to help families renovate their homes so that an aging relative can move in. His plan also delivers on the New Democrats’ commitment to strengthen Employment Insurance Compassionate Care benefits by fixing eligibility rules and improving coverage from six weeks to six months. In addition, the New Democrat plan includes a new Caregiver Benefit, aimed at helping low-and middle-income families caring for aging relatives.

Charlie Angus says Canada’s senior population is set to double within 15 years, and the burden born by today’s families will increase along with that. "This is a challenge we need to face today in Canada. The New Democrat plan is do-able, affordable and will help hundreds of thousands of Canadians care for their loved ones.”

Layton also pledged to help new moms and dads who have taken maternity and parental leave by fixing the loophole that would make them ineligible for EI benefits once returning to work.