Seniors let down again
Budget hurts seniors
February 27, 2012
This is an open letter to Premier Paula Cox.DISILLUSIONED
Dear Madam Premier and Finance Minister,
Once again land and vehicle taxes are being levied against a section of the community that has little opportunity to fight back! This is especially cruel since the taxes in question were only discontinued a few years ago. Now that we have all planned our finances on the basis that we had no more land or vehicle tax to pay, we are suddenly asked to find them again from pensions that are diminishing each year as the cost of living keeps rising.
Land Tax after many years of vanishingly small rates of interest and dividends on investments, how many seniors are now living on their savings instead of their investment income? The housing market has more or less collapsed (except for top of the range properties) so downsizing from the family home would result in a large loss of capital to say nothing of the legal and other fees associated with buying and selling property even if the house could be sold.
Car Tax The opportunity to have a larger car could not be missed by seniors no longer able to fold themselves into compact vehicles. As you will discover, Madam Premier, age takes its toll and any opportunity to alleviate that pain is to be seized with both hands!
Seniors also have children and/or grandchildren to ferry about while their parents are at work. The worldwide economy, to say nothing of Bermuda’s parlous state after years of mismanagement, means that it is no longer reasonable to expect even two parent families to be able to manage on both incomes without the assistance of their parents. Having lulled us into believing these tax cuts would continue, what do you suppose will happen to the second hand car market when hundreds of us seniors have to trade in our cars for a smaller model? Second hand prices will fall through the floor and we will again be stuck with another drain on our savings leading to even smaller interest / investment income.
Please reconsider this. Perhaps these tax adjustments can be phased in year by year as the retirement age goes up?
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