November was Sock it to Seniors Month!
First, the government slashed the seniors’ discount on BC Ferries by 50 per cent.
Now, Christy Clark’s cabinet is imposing a cumulative increase of 28.1 per cent on BC Hydro rates.
And seniors are preparing for a 4.1-per-cent increase in MSP premiums, and health authorities are sending out notices of increases in the cost of residential care.
Access to needed community health services, like home support, continues to decline even though such services could save the public acute care system millions of dollars.
Not all seniors are poor, but many do live on fixed incomes. The rate of poverty among seniors, and particularly among women, is increasing at an alarming rate.
The super-rich will barely notice these fee and rate increases, but while the government proclaims a budget surplus, poor seniors will have to decide which meals they can no longer afford.
Christy Clark should be raising revenues through fair taxes, based on ability to pay, not through fee and rate increases that hit hardest at seniors who have the least.
So, we seniors need to be more concerned about the future for our children and grandchildren who will have to live with the consequences of globalization and privatization of our economy.
Obviously, the 40 per cent of the Comox Valley who are seniors must challenge those who say that seniors are the problem. We must challenge government to make decisions about public health care on the basis of credible data rather than ideology.