Thursday, March 8, 2012

Don't Mess with My Parents.

The Honourable Dwight Duncan
Minister of Finance
7 Queen's Park Crescent, 7th floor
Toronto, ON, M7A 1Y7

March 8, 2012

To The Honourable Dwight Duncan, Minister of Finance:

There is no polite way to say how angry I am right now. I was raised by two wonderful people that raised eleven children including me, ten of them their own. They are seniors, on a fixed income. They own their own home, their own car, and they pay their bills on time. They taught me to pay my bills on time as well. This, I think, is a lesson you never learned.

I was at my parents house today when they got their tax assessments back. My Pa, who makes the same amount every year, whose taxes are taken out of his pension cheques, somehow owes the government $64.12. Usually they get $500 or $600 BACK. How on earth should he have to pay?

I understand that you have decided that the government changed not only the timing, but how they pay out property tax credits, as well as the Senior's Homeowners grant. I realize that six long months from now, AFTER they have to pay their property taxes again, they will finally see some portion of the money they are rightfully owed. Are you going to pay them interest for keeping their money so long? Because if they waited until they got a penny from you to pay their tax balance, I know for sure you'd charge them interest.  Buddy, you have some nerve.

It's okay for people like my husband and myself. We aren't counting on that money for anything other than adding to our RRSPs. Now if we don't actually get all you owe us before we have to pay 2012s taxes, mister you are going to get another piece of my mind.

How dare you decide you know better how to handle Canadians money, than they do! That's not your job. You just want the money, their money, to float your budget.  Like, I said, you have some nerve screwing over the most vulnerable people in our society. Now my parents, are very good with their money, they don't *need* their tax refund right this second to pay outstanding bills, but you bet your ass they want to see it before they have to pay their property taxes. But they won't, because they are due in June, and you aren't giving anyone a red cent until July. Nerve, mister, you have too much.

Also, explain to me what the hell kind of sense this makes?  My Pa has to pay you $64.12, he's going to send that in, someone has to process it, then six long months later, you are going to go ahead and give him that back, and eventually more. As long as he doesn't die. How dare you! If he died, he'd still have to pay his taxes, or rather his impoverished widow would, but you don't have to pay him the money you owe him?! How can you look yourself in the mirror?

He's 84 years old my Pa. He fought in World War two. He raised eleven children. All but me have at least two more, and they have two more as well. My parents are the fountain head of a family of 60+ people, over 40 of which work and pay taxes in this country. Their story is not unique. And yet this is the group you decide to screw over?!  What part of this plan ever seemed like a good idea to anyone who isn't upper middle class? Did you even bother to vet it with the actual working class you planned to mess with?!

Did you even bother to announce this change to anyone other than accountants and tax preparers? I never heard hide nor hare of this until today when I was trying to tell my very distraught Pa why he owed the government money. But I don't understand it myself. He's on a freaking fixed income. There are no surprises. What have you done wrong in collecting his taxes all year long that he now had to pay??

I just don't see how this makes any sense at all. Instead of doing things once, one assessment, one bill/cheque, you've turned it into three or four processes, taking up more resources. How is this possibly helping anyone, even you?!

I'm angry. I'm angry for my parents, and other seniors, students, and those on/near the poverty line. If you had to screw with someone, why not the middle class, why not the precious upper class? Why did you have to mess with those most vulnerable?!

You need to fix this. And you need to fix this now. It's not too bloody late to fix this for this year. You can just go ahead and do the assessments now, like you should have, and give people their money. At the very least, you should send all taxpayers eligible for credits a letter asking them if they would like installments starting in July, or if they would prefer their lump sum in July.

I just read a CTV article that stated you were going to include the option for payments of lump sum on 2012s tax forms. I sincerely hope a) this is true, and b) you actually follow through.

Next time you have a bright idea, I suggest you run it by the people who will actually be affected. At the very least you need to ensure Canadians know what's going on.

My parents are confused and distraught, and I am spitting mad for them. You know, I don't actually expect nor do I really care if there is a Canada pension waiting for me when I'm old, as long as you take care of my parents. And thus far, I see you are doing a piss pour job of it.


One Very Disgruntled Taxpayer.

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