I was reading comments on various online newspapers over the past few days and noticed a trend of people saying that the Conservatives only want the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer, the Conservatives keep 'taking from the downtrodden', etc.
It really made me wonder WHY. And it made me remember a time earlier in the year or last year when I commented on another blog that I got 'thousands' of dollars a month in financial aide when I was a single parent and a Liberal Regular who haunted that blog called my bluff. When I spelled it out for him, he did not believe me and it irritated the hell out of me. So I wanted to post the list of monthly, quarterly and bi-yearly aide I received 100% tax free courtesy of Albertan and Canadian tax payers. Firstly though, I want to point out that 11 years ago when I first entered the system, minimum wage was lower and I received less, but as minimum wage climbed, so did the amount of benefits I received. That seems a little bit odd, hence the title of my post - are we really getting anywhere if the amounts of money being handed out left and right are forever increasing? And when, for example, things like daycare subsidy in the province have increased over $200 a month in 10 years even though minimum wage went up over $2/hr, how are we ever going to get out of a deficit? Many things led to these increases - min wage caused many products to increase in price as businesses struggled to pay wages, someone fiddled with the housing market which resulted in grossly inflated home prices, rent increased with property tax, utility, etc fee hikes,,,, so you never really get ANYWHERE, and what is the point of that?
Anyway for those who keep up this mantra that the rich get richer while the poor get poorer and get 'nothing', here is a list of what I received each month from 2004 to 2008: Also keep in mind I was not on welfare or I would have received even more money - these are just standard amounts for a single parent of 2 kids
Daycare subsidy - $540/month for my one child in care
Alberta Health Care Premium Subsidy - $88/month
Housing subsidy - approx $400/month based on the local rental price for a duplex being over $1000 a month where I paid $570 tops.
Child Tax Benefit - $575 to 650/month for 2 children
Monthly Total Benefits - $1678
GST (quarterly) - $250 x 4
Alberta Working Family Tax Credit (bi-yearly) - $500 x 2
Yearly Total Benefits - $2000
Professional Development for college courses - $1000 x 3 (3 years at $1000 per year)
Alberta Child Health Benefit (I did not pay for any prescriptions, dental care, eye care etc for the children but I do not know what I received in total benefits for sure because the kids had good teeth and weren't that sick, but the program was free for me to join, I'm guessing about $500+ in 4 years was given to me for their care)
Income Tax Return - I always got back 100% of my income tax paid at the end of the year, about $1300 each time x 4 years
So let's figure this out. In four years I received a minimum of $97,244 in direct aide from taxpayers. Again, that was WITHOUT being on welfare, and on top of my wages earned (less than $24,000 each year). I earned about $96,000 in those 4 years while working full time, and received MORE than that in aide.
So where on earth people get off saying that the poor get 'nothing', I have no idea. They obviously have a complete lack of understanding of what is available out there for families. This does not include the few times I went to the Food Bank, or the 2 years my kids were part of the Santa Claus program by the Salvation Army. I have probably even forgot a few things that I received along the way. I contributed virtually nothing to the tax program, but received all sorts of perks. I earned $500/month too much to apply for welfare, but let's say I had... I know that right off the bat I would have received another $250/month towards my housing subsidy and I would not have had to pay the $60/month for daycare that I was responsible for. And I would have received a minimum of $300/month for 'core essentials' (food, toilet paper, soap, etc). That would have added another tag of nearly 30 thousand dollars to my four years of aide totals... wow......
Anyway I just thought of something else - I did not have to pay school fees because I could apply for subsidy for that as well and I received about $400 for that so tack that onto my tally.
Now do you wonder why all of these programs are like a cancer that grows and grows and has no hope in hell of ever stopping? Am I saying that I should have lived in a cardboard box with my kids? No - but I am smart enough to know that everything is relative - the cost of everything has risen due to the govt farting around with the totals and trying to make everyone more equal. Perhaps if all of this crap had not started in the first place, it would not cost $1000 a month for a small apartment in my region. Maybe it wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to put kids in daycare while a single parent works because they wouldn't have to pay their staff such high wages to keep up with all of the rules and regulations and college courses being forced upon them. Who knows - but I do know that it is not going to stop and it's just going to keep increasing and we will never EVER get out of a slump when things are like this and people keep saying that no one is helping the poor. I don't know how much more help I should have received since I nearly hit the $100,000 in FOUR YEARS mark for financial aide. What do people want to give? Half a million? I don't get it.