By Chad Ingram
The president of the Haliburton chapter of the Canadian Association ofRetired Persons says that while funding for seniors announced by thefederal government earlier this month amid the COVID-19 crisis iswelcome news it doesn’t go far enough and the organization isrequesting a number of other changes to ease the financial burden onsenior citizens.
On May 12 the government announced that seniorswill receive a one-time payment of up to $500 to help offset theirexpenses amid the ongoing pandemic. This includes a one-time payment of$300 for all seniors who qualify for Old Age Security as well as anadditional $200 for those who qualify for the guaranteed incomesupplement.
“The $300 plus the additional $200 for GIS was welcomedbut does not go far enough” Haliburton CARP chapter president JonDannewald told the Times in an email. “CARP members are concerned withretirement security and access to liquidity. Seniors are looking to have as many tools as possible to maximize their cash flow and protect their retirement.”
Seniors who qualify for it may receive the CanadianEmergency Response Benefit as well as the one-time payment through theGST credit. The government has also reduced the minimum amount ofwithdrawals from registered retirement income funds for 2020 by 25 percent.
CARP is requesting that the government waive mandatory RRIFwithdrawals completely for 2020; eliminate withholding tax on RRSPwithdrawals and allow two years to repay taxes owing; and follow through on an election promise to increase both the OAS and CPP.
“As one of the demographics fatally threatened by COVID-19 many seniors are indesperate need of these supports in order to make ends meet while insocial-isolation quarantine or recovery” reads a release from CARP.“Other have had their income slashed through loss of their job orwages.”