Canadians are guided by the values of compassion, kindness and generosity. In keeping with that our federal government is providing significant support for seniors. Canadians owe our strong and confident nation to the many contributions of our nation’s seniors. The best way to honour their hard work and sacrifice is to ensure that Canada’s seniors live with peace of mind, dignity and financial security.
The Conservative Government is doing more to help seniors through targeted tax reductions and other supports. These targeted supports include:
* Cutting the GST from seven per cent to five per cent, which lets seniors and all Canadians keep more of their own money with every purchase they make.
* Introducing Pension Income Splitting for couples, solving a deep unfairness in Canada’s tax laws.
* Fully exempting the first $3,500 of earned income from the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) calculation, an increase from the current $500 maximum exemption.
* Permitting phased retirement by giving older workers the choice to stay in the labour market.
* Increasing the age limit from 69 to 71 for converting a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to strengthen incentives for older Canadians to work and save.
* Doubling the amount of pension income eligible for the Pension Income Credit, benefiting nearly 2.7 million pensioners.
* Significantly enhancing the flexibility to withdraw funds from Life Income Funds (Locked-in Pensions) to ensure that holders of these funds will have the flexibility they need to manage their retirement savings according to their circumstances.
* Providing $282 million over this and the next two years to expand the Veterans Independence Program to support the survivors of veterans.
* Increasing the income tax basic personal amount to $9,600 retroactive to Jan. 1, 2007. The basic personal amount will also be increased to $10,100 on Jan. 1, 2009.
Budget 2008 also contained the single most important savings vehicle since the introduction of the RRSP, the Tax Free Savings Account. This flexible, registered, general-purpose account will allow seniors to stretch their retirement savings further.
In addition to helping our seniors save money on their tax bill, Prime Minister Stephen Harper also understands that essential support must go beyond the dollars and cents. It means fundamentally doing the right thing, listening to seniors and showing Canada’s greatest generations some respect.
You will be able to find an abundance of information on what our government is doing to help seniors across the country by visiting the seniors’ web site: www.seniors.gc.ca.
Please contact my Constituency office for assistance or for information on federally related matters, postage free at: #6, 4612 – 50th Street, Ponoka, T4J 1S7 tel: (403) 783-5530; toll free: 1-800-665-0865 or visit my web site: www.blainecalkinsmp.ca