FINANCIAL REPRIEVE FOR INFANT DEATHS ((MOTION 110) DISCRIMINATES AGAINST OTHER FAMILY DEATHS (updated April 29, 2018)
(These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author about financial fairness and discrimination and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)
The original opinion letter of this blog post was published in local newspapers. Because only a certain number of words can be published in newspapers, please note that the content of this blog post has been expanded to include additional information.
MOTION 110 – FINANCIAL REPRIEVE FOR INFANT DEATHS
A Federal Conservative MP has submitted to Parliament via Motion 110 (motion-110) a proposed financial reprieve for parents who lose infant to death, particularly SIDS. The motion proposes investigation to ensure parents do not suffer undue financial or emotional hardship due to government programming design, particularly from Employment Insurance Parental Benefits. He believes these families are affected by “bureaucratic oversight”.
PARENTS OF INFANT DEATHS SHOULD NOT RECEIVE FINANCIAL PRIVILEGING
How is revoking of parental benefits any different than revoking of senior death benefits? If payment of benefits continues after month in which senior is deceased, these benefits have to be repaid.
Regarding bereavement leaves, why should parents of deceased infants receive more than what other families receive in bereavement processes? If employed, most Canadians (if they are so lucky to have these benefits) receive up to one week of bereavement leave. Continued difficulties with bereavement process are dealt with through sick leave, then short term and long term disability. These same benefits are not available to those who are not employed at time of infant’s death.
Conservatives continually want to cut taxes but keep adding benefits. Who is going to pay for yet another benefit that purposely privileges special interest groups, lobbyists, families and married or coupled households over singles and the poor? Many government programs do harm due to design. One example, if privileged benefits are given to parents of infant deaths, then same privileging should be given to estates of singles never married, no kids who die, including tragic deaths, before receiving Canadian Pension Plan (CPP) benefits. In just ten years of employment with maximum $2,500 annual CPP contributions or $25,000, deceased single person’s estate will only receive a $2,500 death benefit. Total of $22,500 contribution is forfeited to be used by the survivors of married or coupled households. Imagine what the total might be for forty years of CPP contributions (?$90,000)! Singles face righteous anger and despair because of financial discrimination and social injustice heaped on them when they are made invisible by “bureaucratic oversight”.
It should also be noted that Employment Insurance (EI) contributions at approximately a maximum of $850 for 2018 is also forfeited by singles if they never use EI during their lifetime of being employed. These contributions are used by parents for EI Parental Benefits and those who use EI benefits multiple times during their employment lifetime. For ten years of employment it is possible that singles will forfeit up to $8,500 and for forty years up to $34,000.
LOST DOLLARS LIST TO DATE
The above two examples of contributions forfeited by singles show that amount can equal up to $90,000 (CPP) plus $34,000 (EI) for a total of $124,000. Our LOST DOLLARS LIST TO DATE already includes potential forfetting of EI dollars. CPP dollars will be added to the list (lost-dollar-value-list) with potential lost dollar value for lifetime now totalling approximately $643,000.
In article “Income support rates in Alberta continue to soar” (social-assistance-rates) a stunning, almost unbelievable, statistic states that in January, (2018) 69 per cent of recipients were individuals, 23.5 per cent one-parent families, 4.9 per cent couples and 2.6 per cent couples without children. The income support program helps those who do not have resources to meet their basic needs, including food, clothing and shelter. NINETY TWO (92) PER CENT requiring income support were singles and lone parent families!
Government and social policies need to include singles in the definition of family. It is time for families to realize that their children even when they become adult single children deserve the same financial inclusion as children during child rearing years.
Singles face financial discrimination every day when they have to forfeit their financial contributions (which are required by mandatory government policies) to married or coupled persons with and without children. This can total not just hundreds or thousands, but hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Conservatives (and perpetuated by Liberals) continue to talk only about the middle class and implement policies and benefits that benefit the middle class and the wealthy most. They also continue to talk about ‘family’. However, their definition of family doesn’t include singles or poor families.
Conservative ideologues and far right Christians like Stephen Harper (Canadian Conservative Prime Minister), Conservative 40 year rulers in Alberta, and Sean Hannity (staunch supporter of Trump, derider of Obama and owner of 20 shell companies containing approximately 870 housing units) continue to gaslight about helping families, but instead, make themselves even richer.
Politicians need to be held accountable for formulation of policies that privilege certain segments of society such as married or coupled households with and without children over singles and poor families. Motion 110 is an abject example of financial discrimination based on the emotion of infant deaths over tragic deaths of other family members. Changes in financial formulas should include review of how changes will affect all members of families, not just married or coupled households with and without children.
As one segment of society, singles do not deserve to pay more and get less than their married or coupled counterparts with and without children.
The death of an infant should not be financially treated any differently than deaths of other family members.
(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles. It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.)