Thursday, November 28, 2013
Socking it to Seniors
concerned of financial impact on the elderly
Released by COSCO/Web photo Art Kube
to a release from the BC Council on Senior Citizens' Organizations on
Wednesday, new rate increases and services cuts will his seniors hard.
“This must be sock it to poor seniors month,” Art Kube, President of the
100,000 member B.C. Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations said today.
“First the government slashed the seniors discount on B.C. Ferries by 50
percent. Now it is imposing a cumulative increase of 28.1 percent on BC
Hydro rates,” said Kube.
“And all of this comes in the same month when seniors are preparing for a
4.1 percent increase in MSP premiums, and health authorities are sending out
notices of increases in the cost of residential care,” he said. “Access to
needed community health services, like home support, continues to decline
even though such services could save the public acute care system millions
Kube said not all seniors are poor, but many do live on fixed incomes.
“The rate of poverty among seniors, and particularly among women, is
increasing at an alarming rate. The government’s actions are making it even
worse,” he said.
“The super-rich will barely notice these fee and rate increases, but while
the government proclaims a budget surplus, poor seniors will have to decide
which meals they can no longer afford.
“The government should be raising revenues through fair taxes, based on
ability to pay, not through fee and rate increases that hit hardest at those
who already have the least,” he said.
Noting the government is planning to put slot machines on the B.C. Ferries,
Kube advised seniors to stay away from them.
“The way the government is running things, you can’t win,” he said.
The Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations (COSCO) is a federation that
represents more than 80 seniors groups with a total of more than 100,000
members in B.C.
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