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Thursday, 24 October 2013

old age pensioners - BEWARE! - poverty looms

published as a letter-to-the-editor in Central Hastings News
Stirling, Marmora, Madoc, Tweed & Area (Ontario)
Oct. 31, 2013, page 6
circulation 474,000

  hastings cover

old age pensioners BEWARE - poverty looms 

If you're approaching age 65 & anticipating receiving a living pension with Old Age Security, well, it ain't gonna happen under the cheapo conservative Harperite regime : (- The current rate is around $550 a month, the same as a welfare recipient. And you'll be treated with about as much respect as a welfare recipient. You now have to prove you qualify - receiving an OAS pension has become like qualifying for Unemployment Insurance (oops, I mean 'employment insurance' in Orwell's newspeak).

The Harperite tactic is just avoiding & ignoring you when you become a senior - after all, you are a supplicant - when all that money should be given to the big corporations, esp. big oil. Likely you've spent a lifetime working and contributing tens of thousands of dollars, likely hundreds of thousands, in taxes. Every time you buy something you are still paying the nasty GST - no matter how low your income. And no matter that you've volunteered thousands of hours of community service, or that generations of your ancestors fought to preserve Canada in 2 world wars.

IT'S YOUR DAMN FAULT YOU GOT OLD!!!! So just suck it up & accept our meagre hand-out which is less than half the poverty line.Yes, line up, seniors-to-be at the cat & dog food sales bins, cause that's where you'll find yourself if you're trying to live on under $1K a month. I know this is true, because it's my personal situation. I've worked my 40+ years in Canada, as a head village librarian & before that as a cook (chef papers from George Brown). After all those years of hard work & contributing now I'm being treated like a lumpen who's never done a day's work or contributed an effing thing in their lives.

In fact a lumpen drug dealer I know of, who never worked so didn't qualify for any Canada Pension Plan, received $1,350 a month - still pitiful. But this is far more than the $950 a month I'm currently receiving because I made the mistake of working, & then when I was forced into early retirement I had to withdraw 'too much' ($15K) from my depleted RRSP savings the year before I turned 65.

A beginning solution to some of this inequity would be to raise the minimum monthly OAS payment to at least $1K, which is a measly $12K a year (who can live on that???). But if I were receiving my $400 a month CPP plus $1K a month OAS, well, I could almost survive, and at least I'd be receiving the same amount as the retired local lumpen drug dealer.

And I don't understand why all the younger baby boomers aren't burning down the offices of their local Members of Parliament - these younger boomer suckers will have to work & wait until age 67 to begin receiving their OAS pittance!!!

What's so wrongheaded about chiseling seniors is that we don't have any surplus money to spend on luxuries like dining out occasionally, or traveling around Canada, or enjoying cultural activities like the ROM or AGO or even a frigging local evening at the cineplex, with maybe a beer afterwards. Henry Ford knew he had to pay a decent wage so his workers could buy his cars, but these Harperite ideologues are making it impossible for seniors to avail ourselves of the basic necessities of life, much less being able to stimulate our faultering economy by buying a few cultural extras.

As my Zen master is wont to say, PLEASE WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... future welfare OAS
hmmmm ... penury & pensioners - same root???

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