11/18/2013 10:37 EST | Updated 01/25/2014 04:01 EST

Employment Insurance A 'Cash Cow' That Needs Replacing: Group


OTTAWA - A taxpayer group says Canada's employment insurance system is broken and needs to be replaced.

In a report released today, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the EI system is being used by Ottawa as a cash cow.

Federation director Gregory Thomas says the federal government collected $3.3 billion more in EI revenues last year than it paid out in benefits.

And he says that surplus is expected to rise to $4.2 billion this year.

The federation says Canadians should be allowed to keep the money they and their employers pay in EI premiums in personal unemployment accounts.

Under the plan, EI contributions would be accessed only if workers become unemployed.

For those who rarely or never use EI, the federation says they should be allowed to keep their contributions for retirement.

Seasonal workers who frequently make EI claims, on the other hand, would be forced to stretch their unemployment savings further under the proposal.

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