LETTER: Fletcher’s pension comments lack balance

Weekly letters to the editor from within the Sooke community.

Re: The state rescues your retirement (Tom Fletcher, Sept. 14)

Should the state help retirees? Tom Fletcher doesn’t think so.

Yet most people walk away with less than 50 cents from every dollar earned … taxes, MSP premiums, B.C. Hydro, ICBC, gas tax … the list goes on.

Why can’t they support themselves? Fletcher wonders. He hasn’t noticed that most people can’t afford RRSPs or TFSAs. Household debt is at record levels.

Fletcher’s sneering derision of unions, the “working poor”   and teachers is typical of the entrenched Conservative sense of entitlement that sees one quality of life for the corporate/ political elite and a much poorer life for the masses and working poor.

To support his scorn Fletcher quotes the Canadian Federation of Independent Business who scream, “The sky is falling” at every suggestion of an increase in the minimum wage or wages in general. Then, of course, he quotes the Fraser Institute, the right-wing “think tank” that is bankrolled by big business including the notorious oil billionaires, the Koch brothers who want no minimum wage.

As a legislative reporter you’d think Fletcher would have lots to say about a government neck deep in scandal: Hydro mismanagement, ICBC corruption, big pharmas scary influence, hiding from the light of the B.C. Utilities Commission  to ram through projects of dubious value to most of us, scores of insiders populating every government department making six figure salaries … need I go on ?

What would the cost be of millions of retirees not being able to feed, clothe and house themselves? People having a bit of money to spend and the dignity of independence is good for the economy.

Limit corporate welfare and rein in handouts of tax dollars to insiders. Let people keep more of their earnings. Fletcher’s comments lack balance, as usual.

Ted Roberts

Sooke