FINANCIAL DISCRIMINATION OF SINGLES AND LONE PARENT POVERTY MASKED BY GASLIGHTING
(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.)
This blog post is in response to a local newspaper opinion letter submitted by a reader who believes “singles only need small spaces and one tank of gas per month”. This post was published in a local newspaper in shortened format as only so many words can be submitted for newspaper publication.
SHOCKING STATISTICS FOR PROVINCIAL INCOME SUPPORT PROGRAM RE INDIVIDUALS AND LONE PARENTS
Shocking statistics show that in one of the richest provinces (Alberta) there were in early 2014, 33,000 Alberta Income Support program (excluding AISH) recipients of all ages. Alberta Income Support program in January, 2017, had 54,374 recipients and in January, 2018, 57,003 recipients. Makeup of claimants in 2017 and 2018 include individuals 69%, lone-parent families 24%, couples with children 5%, and couples alone 3% (social-assistance-rates-continue-to-soar-despite-albertas-recovering-economy). Totals do not say how many are turned away and do not include those who on verge of poverty.
GASLIGHTING MASKS INDIVIDUALS (SINGLES) AND LONE PARENT POVERTY
Reader comments on Alberta support program statistics gaslight by blaming NDP government and immigrants. Local newspaper opinion letter submitted by a family gaslights as part of the family majority by using bias and financial illiteracy re singles finances to tell singles they only need small spaces and one tank of gas per month. The letter implies families have to pay so much more than single retirees. Sorry, singles and lone parents retirees are forced by married majority to pay more taxes because they can’t pension split and don’t have marital benefits privileging married and coupled persons with and without children.
So, apparently, while your children have their own bedrooms, it is okay for singles to live in spaces as small as 150 sq. ft. with only a microwave, bar fridge, bar sink, and no stove, bathtub, laundry or storage space. And, apparently, as evidenced in Whistler, BC housing crisis it is okay for singles to earn a decent living, but have no place to live. One person earning $2,800 after taxes has lived in a camper van for four years. Styrofoam cutouts are wedged into the windows to keep out the cold. Or, in shared house a single bedroom was advertised for two female tenants at $780 per person. Illegal short term rental greed has replaced housing designated for staff.
Singles have become invisible in DIY, real estate and housing TV programs. Probably this is because singles are increasingly being charged more and more per square foot for their small spaces and are less able to afford home purchases.
One tank of gas per month doesn’t even deserve a response.
J-u-s-t s-p-e-a-k t-h-e d-a-m-n t-r-u-t-h! Over 90% of Alberta Income Support recipients as minorities are singles and poor lone parent families! Families gaslight by saying it is expensive to raise children covering only twenty to twenty five years. Housing covering sixty to eighty years, especially rental, is biggest lifetime expense regardless of marital status or children. House ownership is separating Canadians into ‘haves’ versus ‘have nots’.
MARKET BASKET MEASURE SHOWS IT COSTS INDIVIDUALS MORE TO LIVE THAN MARRIED OR COUPLED PERSONS WITHOUT CHILDREN
Conservatives, financially illiterate, gaslighters and married never talk about low income, equivalence-scales-in-relation-to-cost-of-living or cost of living scales like Market Basket Measure (MBM) (statcan). Example: if single person household has value of 1.0, lone parent, one child or two adult household has value of 1.4, one adult, two children 1.7 and two adult, two children 2.0. It costs more for singles to live than couples without children.
Just one example of MBM not applied was the 2015 Federal Conservatives proposed targeted federal tax relief benefit for single senior to $20,360 ($1,697 per month) and senior couple $40,720 ($3,393 per month). Using simple math, $1,000 rent and $400 food and white goods per month is barely covered for singles, but $1,000 rent and $800 food and white goods is amply covered for senior couples. Application of MBM of 1.4 for couples would equal $28,504 ($2,375 per month), not $40,720. Cost of living for couples is not twice that of singles. Trump has also given double tax relief for couples.
For 2018, net income limit is $75,910 for singles and $151,820 for couples. Applying MBM of 1.4 or $106,274 net income limit for couples ensures tax fairness.
Singles are told by married persons that they can always reduce costs by moving in with someone else. However, this does not solve the problem of financial discrimination of singles being forced to pay more taxes.
MULTIPLE GOVERNMENT BENEFITS ARE GIVEN TO MARRIED OR COUPLED PERSONS WITH AND WITHOUT CHILDREN
Conservatives, who tout individual responsibility, have implemented tax avoidance programs privileging upper middle class and wealthy married or coupled households with and without children (add link) like pension splitting, Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA) with no limits, Old Age Security (OAS) clawback targeting only top two percent, and tax loophole programs. They financially and socially discriminate against minority singles and poor households who generally do not have the income to take full advantage of these programs. Wealthy never pay their fair share of taxes. The Canada Child Benefit does not take into account net worth and assets, so it privileges wealthy parents who have low incomes, paid for houses, and high net worth and assets who then retire early. These same benefits have been perpetuated by the Liberal Party because of fear of losing votes if tax fairness changes are made.
Married and coupled persons do not realize the financial power and privileging that has been given to them when they are able to apply benefits on top of benefits times two persons (family-tax-credits). For example, it is shameful when married and coupled persons can get OAS, which is supposed to be part of the Canadian poverty reduction pillar, then take that money and max out their TFSAs while paying less taxes because they can pension split and not pay taxes on TFSA proceeds (TFSAs do not need to be included in income).
The local newspaper opinion letter on same day as above opinion letter thankfully recognizes widowed person, now homeless ‘single’ (doesn’t say she is age 65), who is begging for money because she can’t get on small town local social support 600 person waiting list.
Singles, including poor lone parent households, are not stupid and deserve to feel righteously angered. (After all, they also have math skills since they went to same schools as their married/coupled counterparts). Singles know as minority populations they are not respected in financial formulas to the same level as married or coupled households with and without children.
Personal responsibility with social justice imbalance can lead to selfishness and greed. Personal responsibility with balanced social justice and financial formulas changes “me” to “we”. Less gaslighting and more financial and public policy formulas based on MBM, and including net worth and assets, on all benefits and taxation without political bias would ensure financial fairness for all Canadians.
(This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles. It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.) This is a WordPress blog designed by a hired individual.