The alarmism about the financing of health costs that will lead to demographic aging is coming back to haunt us. This time, it arises from the pen of Jean-Robert Sansfaçon, where it is fueled by reading two studies which show that the number of places to be offered in CHSLDs should double within 20 years.

Very good. The people who have done these studies are surely competent. I still find it difficult to reconcile their conclusions, or those that the columnist draws from their work, with the analysis of the Canadian Institute for Health Information, which shows rather that, even if the number and As the proportion of the elderly increases and the cost of their health care increases, the share of public expenditure going to the health care of the elderly does not vary over time. Before proposing to upset the financing of the State by reducing the share of personal income tax, progressive, to increase the share of consumption taxes, regressive, we should perhaps examine how these studies differ and why studies cited by the columnist would be more accurate than those of CIHI. We are waiting for an article from Duty on the subject.

That said, the editorial by Jean-Robert Sansfaçon raises a larger and perhaps more important question: the place of the pensioner in the financing of public expenditure.

The retirement funding model put in place in the 1960s meant that retirees lived primarily on taxable income: the old age security pension, QPP and CPP benefits, retirement pensions from the plans. and RRIF withdrawals are taxable income. The withdrawal of employers and the complacency of governments towards them have meant that a significant portion of the resources of today’s retirees consists of tax-free savings held in TFSAs and non-registered investments. The coexistence of non-taxable savings and taxable retirement savings leads financial advisers to propose optimization strategies, two of the consequences of which are to further reduce the retiree’s role as taxpayer and to increase public expenditure on pensions. old age security and guaranteed income supplement. It is not healthy.

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Injustice

The complacency of governments has also allowed personal taxation to drift towards a state of affairs where labor income is taxed more heavily than business income. This is a horrendous injustice justified by complacent tax experts being paid to reduce taxes on high income earners. The columnist does not seem to understand either what his suggestion to base the cost of accommodation in CHSLDs as much as possible on residents who could afford it because their retirement income or their real estate assets would allow them to pay it. The reasoning can hold if the person lodged does not have a spouse. If she has a spouse who is not housed, withholding most of the sheltered person’s retirement income and taking the equity from her share of the couple’s primary residence is to radically impoverish the independent spouse. The CHSLDs already practice this type of puncture, which is denounced by the FADOQ, and the bizarre stubbornness of our society with social democratic pretension to require spouses that they support each other ensures that the the bill is even higher for married couples.

The editorialist’s proposals would further reduce the share of public spending paid by high-income individuals and impoverish older people at the time of their lives when they are most in need, when they have helped finance education. young people and everyone’s health when they could afford it. It is not certain that demographic aging will increase the share of public expenditure devoted to the health of the elderly as claimed by the editorialist. Moreover, if it is necessary to increase State revenues and review the financing of CHSLDs, it would be fairer to begin by abolishing the scandalous privilege enjoyed by individuals who pay themselves the income from their work in the form of dividends. Raising consumption taxes and taking as much money off CHSLD residents and their spouses as possible does not reduce injustice, but increases it. In the long run, it would probably be good to get the Canadian pension system back on track, which had the wisdom to make retirees a real taxpayer. Employers are reluctant to play their part, and governments refuse to stand up to them. There is still hope. We know today, thanks to the work of Michel Lizée, that employees can manage to set up “branch” pension funds even without the financial contribution of their employers. The editorial writer’s proposals are probably not the best to deal with the problems we have.

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