RDSP’s….bah humbug.

SOME PLAN…BUT IT MAKES FOR A GREAT CHRISTMAS JOKE 

Families of disabled persons will be able to set up tax-free savings plans after  measures enacted by the federal government last year came into effect. The registered disability savings plan – RDSP – had been proposed in the Cons 2007 budget but became effective only this month.

“You know how government works – here we are the end of 2008,” joked Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. Good joke Jim, those families haven’t waited nearly long enough for this one, you could have stretched it out even further if you would have tried.

The government estimates 280,000 Canadians are eligible to open RDSPs, allowing parents and others to set aside funds for a child with a severe disability.(thats if you can afford to set aside the money after paying all those medical equipement expenses and auxillary expenses like support staff and speech equipment that is not tax deductible…oh yes, and let’s not forget that many disabled persons are not disabled according to this federal government and revenue canada and many persons are forced to restate those severe disablities on a year to year basis and supply proof that they are still disabled in order to qualify for any tax breaks)

 Ottawa says it will provide matching grants of up to $3,500 per year, plus a $1,000 bond each year for families with incomes under $37,885 and each RDSP has a lifetime contribution limit of $200,000 from the family and $70,000 from the government, but I won’t be counting on that…we know how this government changes its’ mind from day to day.

 Okay, as the parent of a disabled child I feel that in some small way the idea is good…if you can afford to contribute, but if you cannot afford to contribute, what will happen to your disabled child when you are no longer able to care for them on your own, and what good does any RDSP do for any disabled person if they cannot access services anyways?  I mean, many communities  like Woodstock do not have access to any services and the primary concern for parents of disabled children in this small city is not some silly tax credit, but access to group homes and other such social support mechanisms that will be neccessary to ensure the disabled persons survival in a safe environment long after his/her parents are gone. On top of that, just who will be taking care of this money for those disabled persons in the future? 

 My son will never be able to handle his own finances, but he needs access to a group home. A tax credit will not get him into a group home(as they do not exist here)and a tax credit to me just doesn’t cut it.

 Taxes will still be paid on the original money that is deposited…the only money that will be non-taxed is the withdrawals of money in the future. It isn’t much of a tax credit, And as well, any disabled person that is handled through the Ontario governements office of The Public Trustee is subjected to fees for each withdrawal, as well as monthly fees for handling the disabled persons’ case, as well as numerous other fees that are associated with that program for every single action that a person could think of.

 Canada needs more group homes, our city needs more group homes and in a big way these guys missed the boat completely with their RDSP plan.

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