From The Gazette

All

Suzanne Korf: Don’t let the budget affect your holiday giving

I was on the computer, reading articles about the new provincial budget, and one of the posts at the end of an article was “Every $1 they take out of my pocket will be $1 less for charity.” While I wasn’t feeling warm and fuzzy about the budget, this made me feel downright chilly.

It’s not that I don’t understand. For most people, the new budget is not something to cheer about. As of Jan. 1, the health tax will be deducted directly from our pay, the tax rate for higher income families will rise and our electricity bill is going to go up.

Infrastructure spending will be curtailed, even though roads and bridges are crumbling and pipes are bursting. There is no mention of any transit improvement.

While I don’t disagree with the increase in the so-called “sin” taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, I feel it will only encourage more people to make purchases south of the border and, unfortunately, leave some with less to spend on groceries. You can’t legislate better life choices.

I am not against helping those with children who are having a hard time making ends meet, but think that a credit on income tax would be more equitable than increasing the number of subsidized daycare spots. How many of the existing available spaces are being used by people who are not struggling? Do we really need more?

With higher-than-average family incomes, many West Islanders will be the ones paying the highest combined federal-provincial taxes in the country. Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau may well say: “The state will require the more affluent among us to do more,” but how long can we continue to tax the affluent before they decide to take their wealth somewhere else?

I agree that the new budget is disheartening. But to think that it might prevent people from being charitable and from helping others, is a far greater loss than any dent in our wallets.

Will people really cut back on giving to charity because of the budget?

If so, we are not only missing the point, we are shortchanging ourselves. Helping find a cure for a disease, saving a child’s life or giving the gift of a holiday dinner to someone down on their luck, is more important than getting even with the tax man.

What’s more, giving does more for the donor than the recipient. It isn’t just a child’s story that the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes when he discovered the true meaning of Christmas. Giving and helping others truly makes you feel good. Being kind to others is what the holiday season is all about. Let’s not let the budget take away the spirit of the holidays.

Suzanne Korf is a professional fundraiser who has worked for non-profit organizations for more than 25 years. She is a director of development forThe Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation. She is a motherof two and a resident of Pointe-Claire since 1991.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>