Should the Government Spend Money on the Young, Old or In Between?

government spending and incentives for seniors

Every age group views any announcement that the Government may be giving back to the taxpayers with some interest.   Often this is in reference to tax credits, or perhaps incentives.   Then the complaining begins for those who the news doesn’t apply to. We have seemed to naturally categorize ourselves into age groups.  There are the younger generation which many of which are single, and are still pursuing their careers. Then the middle age group which also takes in those who are just starting a family or have children still in University.  Then it moves onto the seniors. At least this is the way it seems to be categorized with it comes to tax issues.

The single group felt smarted with the latest tax incentives as it did nothing for them. Then there are groups that feel that the seniors are always getting the majority of the tax breaks or incentives, and that the younger generation is being forgotten about.

So how is the government supposed to perceive these individual groupings when it comes to the decision making of who is going to get what breaks?

It should be noted that almost nobody no matter what group they may be hypothetically placed in feels they are getting their fair share.

The younger generation:

These could be classed as the individuals who have just broke into the work force hoping to follow their chosen careers. Or at the very least are in their last year of schooling. These are the country’s immediate future hopes. The problem is many of them are debt laden with school loans, and a lot of them cannot find employment in their chosen fields. As a result they have to take on lesser paying jobs that don’t allow them to meet the burden of paying back their loans. Their complaint often is the government is not doing enough to help relieve this financial burden.

The mid generation:

While in the normal context the middle generation is considered to be those around forty, in this context we are referring to those who have just started a family, or their kids are still in their latter days of schools. It is being argued that this group has recently received the most attention from the government by way of tax breaks. Here the big complaint is that it takes two to be working in the family to make ends meet, and there are a lot more financial responsibilities when there are children involved.

The seniors:

The seniors feel that they have been put on the back burner when it comes to tax breaks. Other groups feel that the seniors are being favored by the government.  What is being forgotten perhaps is that it is the contributions that the seniors have made over the years to the country that have made it a viable country to live in.  The other factor is the large number of seniors. Most of the demands that they are placing on the government is more health related as opposed to tax related. Although they are not actively contributing to the tax coffers anymore, they have certainly paid their fair share in previous years.

It is unlikely that anyone has the perfect answer as to which of these groups deserves the main attention of the government.  Unfortunately who is going to get it will partly depend on which group is most likely to provide the most votes during election time.


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Sam Seidman, CPA, CA, LPA
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Toronto, Ontario
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