Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

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Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by Guest on Sat 16 May 2015, 07:05

OTTAWA - Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O'Toole recently defended his department's $1.13-billion spending lapse by saying it's tough to track service dollars when so many elderly veterans are passing away.
In fact, the department produces a detailed report very three months that tracks not only the number of veterans, but their disabilities by category; how many are expected to pass away; their age, gender, and ailments; and what is spent on individual programs and services.
O'Toole told the all-party veterans committee this week that the government doesn't "know what actually goes out the door until the public accounts come in" the following year.

Veterans Affairs sources say the report was a public document until 2008, when the Harper government decided to make it for internal use only.
A spokesman for O'Toole, Martin Magnan, acknowledged the department carries out a comprehensive "client and expenditure" forecast, but does not have a listing of all living veterans.
The government took a political hammering last fall over the issue of lapsed funds as both opposition parties accused the Conservatives of using the unspent funds as a backdoor way of trying to balance the budget.

http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/tough-to-track-veterans-pay-tories-say-despite-report-1.2376420

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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by Teentitan on Sat 16 May 2015, 11:40

Now this isn't what I was told by the OVO about the Billion.
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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by Teentitan on Sat 16 May 2015, 11:43

Found another news article with more details and what was explained to me...

Tories: Bad data affected veterans’ funds
Murray Brewster The Canadian Press, May 15, 2015
VVi 16 May 2015db

OTTAWA — Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole has a simple explanation for a controversial $1.13 billion spending lapse and the subsequent return of the cash to the federal treasury: it’s hard to predict spending when so many elderly vets are dying.

But an opposition critic says there is much more certainty in the numbers than O’Toole is admitting, pointing to the department’s statistical research branch and the detailed, quarterly forecasts it produces.

Unspent cash between 2006 and 2014 caused the Conservatives a major political headache last fall as they tried to rebuild bridges with the angry and frustrated community of ex-soldiers.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper — and now O’Toole — have said the government simply set aside more than it ended up needing in order to ensure there was enough money to cover program costs and the service needs of veterans.

O’Toole told the all-party veterans committee this week that when it comes to planned program spending, the government doesn’t “know what actually goes out the door until the public accounts come in” the next year.

Elderly Second World War and Korean veterans who die during the year create a major variable — one that the department can’t predict, he said.

“I’ll give you an example of how challenging this is ... the estimate does not anticipate veterans passing away over the course of the cycle. That will go into the estimate for the following year,” O’Toole told the committee.

“You try and learn from the public accounts where you did not spend ... but in terms of lapsed funds, this is why.”

O’Toole made the remarks even though the department produces an exhaustive report every three months that tracks the ranks of Canadian veterans in exceptional detail.

It includes not only the number of veterans, but also disabilities by category; how many expected to pass away; their age, gender, and ailments; and what is spent on individual programs and services.

The report, known as the VAC Client and Expenditure Forecast, gives the department exceptional forecasting power. Veterans Affairs sources say it was a public document until 2008 when the Harper government decided to make it for internal use only.

New Democrat veterans critic Peter Stoffer said O’Toole either wasn’t telling the truth before the committee or he wasn’t aware of the regular publication.

“This is information he should have had at his fingertips,” Stoffer said. “He’s been there almost six months. This shows he either doesn’t know his department, or he deliberately misled us.”

A spokesman for O’Toole, Martin Magnan, acknowledged the department “carries out a comprehensive client and expenditure forecast,” but he said the data is limited by the fact the department does not have a day-to-day list of all living veterans.

He said Veterans Affairs must therefore rely on survey information from Statistics Canada.

“We are further pleased that this government has never budgeted less than this department requires to meet the needs of Canadian veterans,” Magnan said in an email.

The government took a political hammering last fall over the issue of lapsed funds as both opposition parties accused the Conservatives of using the unspent funds as a backdoor way of trying to balance the budget.

O’Toole dismissed the controversy as a product of a “slow news cycle,” but something that’s been used to “sow confusion” among veterans and their families.

He said all departments have trouble spending their entire appropriation, that it has nothing to do with politics, and that the federal Treasury Board allows leeway of one to two per cent each year.

Magnan said over the years in question, 2006-07 to 2013-14, Veterans Affairs lapsed an average of 4.6 per cent each year

http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/1287085-tories-bad-data-affected-veterans%E2%80%99-funds
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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by Guest on Sat 16 May 2015, 13:12

Well I think there's one thing that we all can agree on, and that's no future benefits that Veterans are asking for can be denied for the reason of lack of funds.

To me if they now are saying that disabled Veterans are unique in the service we provided, spend the money, back up there words with solid improvements to the whole of all disabled Veterans.

Why fight us in court ?
They have the funds to give us what we want, why not show it by giving us what we want, they apparently have the funds.
Same could be said for fighting us for our LTD, why is it that they spend so much money fighting us ? When they have the funds to give us what we want.

There's much more to all of this then meets the eye.

Veterans are unique an if they won't spend - or did not spend some of our allotted funds, these unspent funds should go right back into the Veterans fund.

It really does not matter why the funds were not spent, what matters is that the funds that were not spent, are no longer available to disabled Veterans.

I understand the basis of what they are saying, but because of the unique structure that disabled Veterans fall under, this is one department that should be spared in taking unspent funds out of our pot.


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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by bigrex on Sat 16 May 2015, 17:39

To me the excuse that the deaths of Veterans created all of the lapsed funding, is pure BS. If that was the case, then why is it that this kind of money has only been returned since 2006? Veterans were dying regularly well before 2006 as well, so isn't an issue that has only been around since 2006, when the Tories took power. After all, there were close to a million Veterans after WW2 and another 25000 Korean Veterans, so with less than 100000 surviving veterans from those two conflicts combined, I cannot see how older Veterans passing away, has suddenly become some kind of accounting nightmare.
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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by Teentitan on Sat 16 May 2015, 17:49

Just want to remind everyone of the OVO explantion I got about the billion given back...

All gov't departments are allowed to over estimate their budgets by 5%. But they are not allowed to use the 5% without TB, Finance Minister's approval.

It's a way ruling parties can build a slush fund for the year an election.

Remember it was not only VAC that gave money back to the Finance Minister ALL dept's gave money back.

In October Canada's deficit was roughly $16 Billion. When Oliver recalled the slush fund Canada was miracuosly in the Black because the total from all the departments was $18 Billion.

It's a creative accounting process that was started by, I believe, Paul Martin when he was the Finance Minister.
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Re: Tough to track veterans' pay, Tories say, despite report

Post by johnny211 on Sat 16 May 2015, 18:23

teentitan, bigrex - It is an accounting process, that comes out of funds that could have been used for numerous programs at DVA. I agree with you all, Veterans have paid a heavy price by this PM's policy of keeping the budget in the black. It boggles my mind, or what I have left of it some days.
My CM is now in the process of doing TPI, I have letters from my pscy and family Dr. saying I cannot work. But last week my CM calls and says, oh we have to get CanVet involved again, to do there assessment. I told my CM this is so much red tape, and why do another assessment. Has anyone been thur this? It just appears to me that it is such a drawn out process. Anyway I quess I will play there stupid game once again..delay or die.
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