Anger mounts against Goodale
There’s no doubt about it — retirees are steaming mad over attack on income trusts by Finance Minister Ralph Goodale and they are trying to make their voices heard in Ottawa. Unfortunately, so far the government hasn’t even acknowledged their legitimate concerns.
Mr. Goodale, amazingly, has told the House of Commons that reaction to his decision to halt advance tax rulings on trust conversions, which sparked a major market sell-off, was running 75 per cent in favour of his stand. He has also been highly combative when criticized for his actions, accusing Canaccord Capital of taking a “very political, a very partisan approach” when the brokerage firm had the temerity to publish a negative report that urged people to write to their MPs.
In fact, many retirees had been doing exactly that long before Canaccord said anything, and some have copied me. Here’s a sample of some of the e-mails I have received in recent weeks.
“I have today sent the following message to Mr. Martin and Mr. Goodale: You’re playing Russian roulette with the life savings of thousands of Canadian retirees and seniors with your “indecision” on income trusts. We sit and watch the valuations of r trust portfolios dwindle every day because of the climate of fear you’ve created in the trust sector. Waiting until your February budget is cruel and unusual punishment for Canadians on fixed incomes trying to make ends meet and heat their homes this winter. The least you can do is make a statement that you will “grandfather” existing income trusts. We invested in good Canadian companies under the rules you created. We don’t deserve this.” – R.C.
“The problem with we peon Canadians responding to the Minister of Finance’s disastrous musings on income trusts is that the federal government and its employees are too far removed from the life of ordinary risk-taking Canadians. With marvelous salaries, secure jobs, and pensions, the Ottawa Finance Department cannot possibly relate to our struggle for investment and retirement survival. So the idea that there could be any meaningful acceptance of our views must be purely fanciful. The so-called ‘opportunity to be heard’ plays us for the fools we Canadians are. What a lamentable and shameful situation!” – R.S.
“I depend on personal investments and the various income streams generated by them to provide retirement income. Much has been written about how this issue is being handled. There is no doubt that the Liberals have no clue what it is they are doing but they are going to do something to at least satisfy the egos of the upper echelon of government officials. (They now will end up with egg on their collective faces, and you can bet they will disburse the blame as far as possible).
“Instead of trying to convince the Liberals to change their minds on this issue by criticism of their policies and procedures, more has to be done to let them know directly that they work for the voters. There is very little written on the subject of the power of the voter. A huge sector of the population (Baby Boomers) is either in the stage of early retirement or saving and investing for retirement. These voters have a phenomenal ability to impact governments in terms of what they demand. The message needs to be put out to the Liberals that their future is in their own hands. The Liberals will brush off any criticism on this matter as they have in the past (Dingwall, Sponsorship, etc), but they do understand one thing Angry Voters”. – E.S.
“After reading your recent Internet Wealth Builder article on income trusts I was inspired to send an e-mail to Mr. Goodale as per your suggestion, as follows:
“Dear Sir: As a retiree, I need to generate income and income trusts are ideal for the purpose. I am quite willing to pay any tax accrued on the trusts. However, when you are deciding how to address the tax issues please remember the rules at party time: NO DOUBLE DIPPING! Do the fair thing, leave income trusts alone and equalize the playing field by addressing dividend taxation. In the end we all win if businesses and individuals pay their fair share of tax and no more. As one who is not on a government pension, I need all the help I can get.” – R.K., Calgary
CARP has also introduced a new free service called CARP E-VOICE which makes it easy for you to find and communicate with your elected representatives by email. You can access it at www.carp.ca/evoice/.<!—-
To find the e-mail address of your MP (or your MP’s name if you aren’t sure) go to www.parl.gc.ca/common/SenatorsMembers_house.asp?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&Sect=hoccur
The letters contained in this article originally appeared in the Internet Wealth Builder, a weekly e-mail newsletter that provides timely financial advice from some of Canada’s top money experts. For more information about becoming an Internet Wealth Builder member go to www.buildingwealth.ca/promotion/50plusproducts.htm