Seniors are the big losers in the federal budget as the Liberal government reneges on its election promises to them.
“This is a bad day for low-income seniors who thought this budget would help them cope with the rising cost of living. The government has let them down,” says Gisèle Tassé-Goodman, president of Réseau FADOQ.
This budget contains no increase in the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), which is intended for seniors who earn less than $20,000 per year. In addition, Ottawa did not move forward with the creation of a career extension tax credit at a time of acute labour shortage.
We also denounce the fact that the modification of the caregiver tax credit to make it refundable and therefore accessible to the less fortunate is also missing from the budget.
Remember that these were three of the Liberal Party’s election commitments.
Unfortunately, Ottawa did not announce any changes to the planned permanent 10% increase in regular Old Age Security benefits, which will remain limited to pensioners aged 75 or older, starting in July 2022. Yet, like people over 75, those aged 65–74 may also be financially insecure.
Little action on health
While health care is the number one issue right now, the federal government is stubbornly refusing to provide more generous and predictable support to the provinces and territories through the Canada Health Transfer.
We do welcome a national dental program for the less fortunate. But seniors and people with disabilities will have to wait until 2023 to be covered by this program.
A welcome credit
In closing, we welcome the creation of a Multi-Generational Housing Renovation Tax Credit, which would provide up to $7,500 in support for the construction of a secondary dwelling for a senior or an adult with a disability.
In addition, $20 million over two years, beginning in 2022-2023, will be dedicated to the expanded New Horizons for Seniors program to support more projects that improve the quality of life for seniors and help them continue to participate fully in their communities.