This really, really bugs me.
Last year the Saskatchewan government amended their Graduate Retention Program (GRP) so that graduates no longer received a tax rebate (cheque) from the government, but instead a boring old tax credit (discount).
Today Brad Wall announced that those who qualify for the GRP can receive their tax credit – up to $10,000 – in the form of a interest free loan for the down payment on their first home, which will be then be forgiven if they own the home for four years. Couples who buy together are eligible for up to $20,000 – or enough for the first time down payment on a $400,000 home.
It’s about time that somebody gave some consideration to the Millenials buying a $400,000 starter home. Those poor, poor little dears.
I have never supported this program. At all. If you make the life choice to pay for a post-secondary education, and graduate, your reward, if you’ve earned it, is a good job. In what world are these graduates also entitled to my tax dollars, or that of any other taxpayer, to buy a freaking $400,000 house? Are you kidding me?
Nevermind that new-homebuilders with a glut of inventory in a stagnant market are going to loooove this.
If I have to donate to someone buying their first house, give my money to that single mom working two thankless, menial jobs to make her $1200 rent payment.
Or, divvy up the $9-million this bloated perk is going to cost over four years amongst the Saskatchewan homeless shelters who are turning their clients onto the street.
This notion that those with a higher education are more worthy of a secure and comfortable life in Saskatchewan is bullshit.
Still on the fence? This is a must read. The author, a fiscal conservative, wraps up his argument this way:
“In light of this, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and New Brunswick should all consider the benefits cancelling their graduate rebate programs and re-allocating the money to other, more urgent priorities.”