As usual, Star readers get it:
Re: Doubling is troubling, April 11
Eleven million people with TFSAs seems like a lot of lost tax revenue. It is simply another way to avoid taxes and should be stopped, not increased. Of course under Harper it will only increase and continue to decimate our social programs.
The opposition must be united in campaigning against this blatant tax cut and revenue loss.
Elaine Purdie, Toronto
The Conservative government seems to think they are doing such a great service to Canadian families by providing its Universal Child Care Benefit and by increasing the TFSA contributions to $11,000.
Social Development Minister Candice Bergen actually thinks that the Child Care Benefit gives families an equal choice. And Finance Minister Joe Oliver believes that the TFSA is somehow equally beneficial to all.
Are they deliberately blind to the plight of middle and lower income families? Do they not understand the situation of single parent families? What percentage of families have a stay-at-home parent? Who can afford a properly licensed daycare facility? Who has the disposable income to put away $5,000 a year let alone $11,000?
It’s obvious that Oliver, Bergen and company do not know or care to know the real financial situation for the vast majority of Canadian families and they certainly do not want to hear what the experts are saying. They might have had a better understanding had they not cancelled the long-form census, but why bother with data when you can make policies out of ideology?
It really is time to unseat this incredible bunch of no-nothing ideologues.
Stephen L. Bloom, Toronto
There is an underlying aspect to the various tax cuts the Harper Conservatives have implemented or will be implementing – increased TFSA contributions, GST cuts, income splitting, etc. – that has fallen below the radar. The commitments Joe Oliver is talking about are ways to destroy the federal government’s ability to raise revenues for generations to come and impede the ability of progressive future governments to repair the social safety net Stephen Harper has been slashing since 2006.
What voters fail to see is that for every 50 cents of tax breaks they get from Harper, they face a dollar in increased fees or lost coverage at every level of government because federal transfers are disappearing.
The extra cup of Timmy’s they can now buy every week means fewer meat inspectors, transportation safety checks, fiery tank-car derailments, or uninvestigated chemical spills in our lakes and rivers.
Sure, the rich will benefit more now, but in the end, everybody loses.
Mark Jessop, Barrie
Given that the doubling of the TFSA maximum will cost future governments billions in revenue, any measure that ties governments hands regarding running any deficit would inevitably result in massive cuts to programming, which could prove politically toxic.
It remains to be seen how firm the “no deficits” language will be, but if the current government really does intend to tie the hands of future governments, one has to assume that the Conservatives are thinking that those future governments will not be Conservative.
Let’s not disappoint them.
Steve Soloman, Toronto