At Blake Richards' pre-budget meeting on January 25, even though an eleven page document was submitted, all that came out of the discussion on the unfair financial representation of singles were the words ‘financial assistance for poor singles’.
Much more is required like a major revamp of Canadian and provincial personal financial systems so that singles are fairly and equally represented.
From the time married/coupled family unit begins at marriage until death of one of the spouses, it is possible they will receive shower, wedding and baby gifts (no such thing as ‘singles showers’!), maternity/paternity leaves, child benefits, TFSA benefits times two, RRSP benefits times two, RESP grants, reduced taxes, pension-splitting, no OAS clawback, involuntary separation payments and possible survivor pension benefits.
They get two inheritances, while singles get one. There is possibly a number of years where they never pay full taxes while increasing wealth. Some even retire before age 65 and therefore do not contribute fully to EI and CPP contributions. In some pension plans some seniors need only to be newly married or remarried for three to five years to access pensions even though they have not contributed anything to the spouse’s plan.
Singles are not able to achieve these same level of benefits and tax relief.
Let’s say it again, singles including millennials not yet married age 18 to 34, singles never married no children age 35 to 65, and early in life divorced persons, i.e. before age 45, with a 2019 $50,000 Alberta gross income ($25/hr.) and $11,000 tax, CPP and EI deductions, result in a net bare bones living wage income of $39,000 ($19.50/hr.). Throughout their lifetimes they will be living just above the poverty level.
The article “Unpredictable employment may be bad for brain health” shows how low income reduces connective white brain matter and increases worse structural integrity.
If Canada cares about democracy, fair representation, and social justice for all its citizens it is imperative that singles be fairly and equally represented in personal financial systems and formulas.
To counterbalance multiple privileges listed above it is imperative that financial formulas be changed and lifetime federal and provincial income tax be immediately and exclusively completely eliminated for singles and early in life divorced persons with incomes under $50,000 so they also can save for retirement.
- Lin Gackle