Age tax credit: seniors counterattack

Business 17 February, 2017

The negative reactions have multiplied since the confirmation by the Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitão , of an upcoming revision of the tax credit granted on account of age.
Several organizations asked the government Wednesday “to reverse its decision to deprive 500,000 seniors of their tax credit”.
In a joint statement , the Quebec Association for the Advancement of Retired and Pre-Retired Persons (AQDR), the Quebec Public and Parapublic Public Service Retirees Association (AQRP), the Retirees’ (AREQ) and the Réseau FADOQ “require the Government of Quebec to decline on its regrettable decision to raise the age of eligibility for the tax credit because of the age, Granted to persons aged 65 or over since 1972 “.
The four organizations are concerned that, for the 2016 taxation year, the age of eligibility has increased from 65 to 66 years. They recall that Quebec plans to increase it gradually until it reaches the age of 70 in 2020. Every year, just over 100,000 people reach the age of 65, which means that “within five years , It will be about 500,000 people born from 1951 who will be deprived of this tax credit, “they point out. This represents “a cut of nearly $ 300 million on the backs of seniors,” according to them.
“It is people with low and modest incomes who will be most affected by this budgetary measure. We must remind the Minister of Finance that the portrait of seniors’ finances is not as bright as it seems to be, “observes the AQRP.
According to data from the Broadbent Institute , in the press release, poverty among seniors has increased from 3.9% in 1995 to 11.1% in 2013 in Canada, and “this reality is present in People living alone and worse also for single women, of which 30% are poor, “insist the AQDR, the AQRP, the AREQ and the Network FADOQ.

“Through all kinds of tax measures, the government is trying to impoverish the elderly by getting it straight into their pockets. He no longer hides his primary intention, which is to push back the age of retirement. It continues to widen the gap that separates Quebec retirees from those of the rest of Canada, “says the FADOQ Network.


The government argues that the savings from these cuts will improve the tax credit for experienced workers. But the signatories of the communique see only a screen of smoke. According to them, Québec’s objective is rather to “withdraw a tax credit that helped seniors in vulnerable situations to encourage them to return to work”.
“It is a regressive and shocking measure. Does the government imagine that all vulnerable seniors will be able to return to work? If this is the case, our elected representatives are terribly disconnected from reality, “insists the AREQ.
Finally, Québec’s four leading organizations for the advancement of seniors invite the government to “take inspiration from federal Minister Jean-Yves Duclos”, who recently decided not to raise the retirement age in Canada. A few days ago, he said “the importance of protecting vulnerable older people, for whom it is impossible, for all sorts of reasons, to continue their participation in the labor market”. Conclusion of the signatories of the communiqué: “such a mark of empathy should inspire the Couillard government”.


On Tuesday, the question of the threshold of eligibility found itself at the center of the debates in the National Assembly when the chief caquist François Legault declared there to see an attack directed against the third age. “With this decision, the Liberal government will raise up to $ 500 per person in the pockets of seniors, and it is the most vulnerable seniors, those who can not return to work, who will be affected by this measure” , He said.
The Minister of Finance replied that this measure was inspired by the Godbout report on tax reform. “The objective was to provide incentives [for] experienced workers, older workers, aged 62, 63, to remain in the labor market,” he said. Amounts so reinvested would be reinvested in their “totality and even more” to enhance the tax credit for experienced workers.
For his part, Prime Minister Philippe Couillard recalled that the increase in the threshold for eligibility for the tax credit granted on account of age was part of the budget tabled in the spring of 2015 and that it was not there Of a novelty.