Despite being the largest voting bloc, younger people are being overlooked: experts

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TORONTO – Eight days before the 2021 federal election, the three major parties are promising all kinds of incentives to secure the vote of Canadians.

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However, when it comes to the future of millennials and Generation Z, some financial experts say liberals, conservatives and the NDP could do more for these demographics.

Millennials represent the largest generation of Canadians and make up 27 percent of the population, said Christopher Dudney, a certified financial planner and principal at Dudney & Company in Toronto. Despite their size, he said, millennials are overlooked when it comes to the current election.

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“The attention of all major party platforms is towards their parents and not them,” he said.

While parties will need to consider budgets and ever-increasing debt levels, Dudney said, young Canadians should still be a priority.

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“This generation is dealing with high student debt as well as a significantly higher cost of living than it should be” [generations] before this. All parties should accept this and move towards doing more.

One area in particular that could be improved is student loan reduction, deferment or forgiveness, he said.


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The NDP is the only party to make student loan waiver a part of its platform. While the party has promised to waive up to $20,000, Dudney suggested that raising the number to $30,000 would be more effective.

“I believe that, by [the NDP’s] My own admission, the average loan amount is closer to that $30,000 number. It doesn’t sound like much, but it is material, especially for someone who is struggling to save for a down payment. “

Jason Pereira, partner at Toronto-based Woodgate Financial and president of the Financial Planning Association of Canada, said housing is a major issue for young Canadians right now, but no politician wants to do what is necessary, which is a drop in housing prices. .

“There is a fundamental difference between the concept of affordability and accessibility. Affordability means that it is easier to buy a home and it means people on average are making more money or spending less things. About implementing accessibility programs So that it can be easy to get home without changing anything else,” he said.

“One of the problems with Canadian housing is the fact that no one is willing to do anything that negatively impacts prices. But, you cannot fix the housing crisis without negatively impacting pricing. So We have instead seen a bunch of initiatives announced by them all that will actually make the housing crisis worse,” he said.


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For example, he explained that liberals want to create an investment savings account, called the First Home Savings Account, that allows people under 40 to save $40,000 to buy a new home with deposits and withdrawals tax-free. will allow.

“The problem is that we already have the potential to save about $115,000 with RRSPs and TFSAs. In a city like Toronto, someone saving $40,000 is not a problem. They’re basically just saving more. It has become easier to do, then, in turn, take on more debt and put yourself in more financial difficulty,” Pereira said.

Furthermore, while all three major platforms aim to increase the supply of housing with low-income housing availability, it is really up to the provinces to roll this out. “The issue is that they have to deal with red tape at the provincial and municipal level and that will hinder their ability to implement it quickly,” Perera said.

“There’s nothing that any of them are promising that will actually do anything but make the situation worse. They’re all throwing money at the problem. And, when you throw money at the problem, your The pass basically has more buyers, which only pushes the price higher as demand has moved without a corresponding increase in supply to offset it.

According to Perera, the offers in the rental market are also not looking promising. For example, the NDP is offering $5,000 in annual rent subsidies, but this money is likely to go directly to landlords, and this could lead to a push for higher rents.


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“The problem is, how many votes are you going to get from someone standing up and saying that we need to lower the price of everyone’s housing by 20 percent?” he said. “No politician would do that. There is no vote to be gained.”

When it comes to child care, another popular topic for young Canadians, Pereira said the liberals and the NDP are doing the right thing for this demographic by offering child care for $10 per day.

Pereira also noted that climate change will be a hot-button issue for young Canadians in this upcoming election. “We live in a global marketplace and different countries will be affected to varying degrees. Everything from the frequency of humanitarian crisis to the stability of business will be affected,” he said.

Pereira said that while liberals and the NDP have taken a stance on climate change, the Conservatives failed to acknowledge at their national convention that climate change exists, despite including climate change policies in their forum.

Shannon Lee Simmons, a financial planner and founder of the New School of Finance, said many of her young clients are asking about climate change and the future of the economy with the rise of artificial intelligence.

“It is difficult to make long-term financial plans in the face of such uncertainty. While most parties are addressing climate change in some way or another, the future of the job market far beyond the next four years is something that many Gen Z customers are asking about,” she said.

“I suspect that any party having creative solutions to change earnings to accommodate major potential changes in future job markets would be in Gen Z’s interest.”

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