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The cycle of social programs

Dear Editor,

Sixty years ago when governments began to design our social welfare state, one in 12 of us was over the age of 65.

About 40 years ago, those same governments recognized we were aging and realized they were going to be getting less income tax, so they decided to divest themselves of those social programs they initially created and pass them onto the next level of government.

Interestingly as the federal and provincial levels of government downloaded these programs, they crowed about giving us a tax break.

Just before Christmas, the municipalities of Barrie and Orillia announced their tax increases for 2020 at about three per cent.

The City of Toronto announced a 1.4 per cent transportation targeted increase, and just the other day another overall increase of roughly 3 per cent for a total of 4.5 per cent.

Now remember municipalities don’t collect income tax per say, just property tax.

Apparently the infrastructure responsibilities of municipalities has gone from 32 per cent to 52 per cent but still with only eight per cent of the tax base.

Today, one in six of us is over 65 years of age. The Province of Ontario has 30,240 seniors looking for long-term care, with that estimated to be 50,000 by 2030. We now have more seniors over 65 than children under 15, so I suppose the Town Of Whitby can ask for another 5.9 per cent tax increase.

Education was one of those social programs designed when the coffers were full and General Motors had 20,000 workers in Oshawa.

As much as the government wants to keep seniors in their own homes, many on fixed pension incomes aren’t able to pay those ever increasing property taxes.

Now you know why governments want a carbon tax, cap and trade or some other boondoggle tax.

Liam Venner