Hey, we survived the month of January without much frostbite, and many of us older Canadians suddenly have more money in our jeans than we did a year ago.
Around New Year’s Day, the bean counters in Ottawa calculate a cost of living adjustment for the Old Age Security payments that go out every month. Last January, the monthly increase was $7.77. I got into a bit of trouble by suggesting with tongue in cheek that it might buy a seniors ticket at the movies on ‘cheap Tuesday’. Some listeners and readers said every little bit helps, and I shouldn’t make fun of the increase.
This year, the upward adjustment is $15.68 ! Might it have something to do with the election that’s coming no later than the fall? We are also paying a lot less for gasoline and some forms of home heating than we were 12 months ago. And those of us who still have mortgages and car loans to worry about are suddenly paying a bit less because interest rates are dropping slightly.
When you add it all up, there’s suddenly a nice bit of extra cash burning a hole in our pockets. The news about the Canadian economy continues to be very mixed. There may be growing support for the notion that seniors no longer need the special consideration that they’ve been receiving for decades.
The falling price of oil is undoubtedly hurting Saskatchewan and Alberta big time. Albertans may soon be joining the rest of us in the ‘real world’ by paying a provincial sales tax when they go to the checkout.
Will slightly richer pensioners feel sorry for their relatives in Calgary or Edmonton? Probably no more than hockey fans in the west who will be smiling as they gaze to the east and see the Leafs missing the playoffs once more. Go get ’em Jets !
I’m Roger Currie