Mr. Speaker, to build on the member's excellent speech, the published and available facts are that 60% of those who maxed out their tax-free savings accounts earned less than $60,000 a year.
“How is that possible?” asks the Prime Minister. “How could someone who makes only $60,000 a year have $5,000 to max out the TFSA every year?”
The answer is that they do not. They do not get it from their income. They get it from downsizing their home. They turn some of their home equity into cash, as many seniors do, or a spouse passes away and bequeaths their savings, or they are forced to take money out of their RRIFs, which they have accumulated over an entire lifetime. They often have large infusions, even though they are people of very limited means.
That is why 60% of people who max out their TFSAs earn less than $60,000 a year. The decision by the present government to cut back tax-free savings accounts will limit the ability of these people of modest means to put that money into a tax-free vehicle, where it can grow and pay them an income in a dignified retirement for the rest of their lives, two-thirds of them being in their retirement period.
I wonder if the member could comment on the irony of a government that wants to raise taxes on the savings of seniors and the retired while simultaneously proposing a mandatory expansion of the CPP under the pretext of helping people retire.