Financial Issue Poll Report


November 4th 2011: The majority of CARP members believe new revenue-creating taxes are not necessary to pay for politicians’ recent promises, that cutting waste will free up the funds, but, if a new tax is contemplated, they agree increased taxes on the wealthy are most appropriate and fairest.

One half of members agree that Canada should reinstate the estate tax, starting after the first million or five million inherited and comprising about 15%.

The wide majority agree with raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year, and the plurality agree any funds raised by new taxes should go to paying down the deficit, followed by fewer who say the funds should fund an increase in OAS/GIS, more long term care, national pharmacare or a national home care strategy.

The strong majority of members own their homes mortgage-free, have about $300,000 in savings and investments and have defined benefit pensions. About 4-in-10 are carrying debt (besides the mortgage on their homes), on average about $46,000, and about one quarter have taken on additional debt in the last year. Among those who have, the reason was renovating a home, for day-to-day living expenses or to help children or grandchildren, and the source was most likely a personal line of credit.

Just one tenth of members have long term care insurance in their household, and those who do say it is not affordable. Among those who have any idea of the cost, the average estimate is about $8000 a year. Two thirds agree Canada should have mandatory long term care insurance, paid for by employees and employers, like Germany.

Three quarters of members want to spend their last days at home, and they estimate the cost of assisted living at about $3500 per month.

Regulation, accreditation and better pay are seen to be the ingredients necessary to make the working lives of PSWs better, and there is agreement family caregivers should receive cash allowances or tax credits to compensate them for their unpaid work.

The Conservative Party still commands the support of one half of CARP members, the Liberals have lost a few points and the NDP have gained a few since the last wave of polling.

Download a PDF copy of the full poll report complete with tables and more detailed analysis here