Gee, thanks

A television commercial for the Business News Network, currently airing, features a clip of a woman wanting to know more on how she can save for her retirement.
The obvious answer, of course, is “Don’t spend as much today.” Unfortunately, for far too many Canadians, that just isn’t an option.
Saving for the future, whether it’s for retirement or that proverbial “rainy day” that may come along, was the centrepiece of the federal budget Finance minister Jim Flaherty unveiled yesterday afternoon in the House of Commons.
In it, Mr. Flaherty created a so-called tax-free savings account, where Canadians over the age of 18 can put up to $5,000 each year. Unlike RRSPs, any investment income earned, including capital gains, would not be taxed. On the other hand, contributions to the account would not be tax deductible, like RRSPs.
Ottawa deserves credit for at least trying to give Canadians another way to save, but just how realistic is this effort given so many barely have enough money to survive from paycheque to paycheque? How many have the luxury of socking cash away when trying to put food on the table, a roof over their head, and gas in their vehicle today?
Then there’s the cost for home heating, clothing, school supplies, prescription drugs, and some health care services, not to mention the myriad of soaring expenses associated with “downloading” from senior levels of government, like residential taxes, sewer and water rates, day care, and recreational activities for you and your children.
And all this while worrying whether you’ll still have a job tomorrow.
Sorry, Mr. Flaherty, but your new mantra of “save, save, save” isn’t much to cheer about for those who are lucky to have any money left over each month.