OTTAWA – As part of their latest budget, the Trudeau Liberals have announced an additional measure to help financially squeezed Canadians: a new tax free savings account to help Canadians save for groceries.
“Across the country, Canadians have told us that it is taking them weeks, sometimes months to save up enough money to fill their fridges,” said a beaming Prime Minister Trudeau. “That’s why we’re creating a safe place where Canadians can save long-term for life’s immediate necessities.”
The new Tax Free Grocery Savings Account, or TFGSA, will allow Canadians to bank up to $5500 per year tax free while saving up for big purchases like eggs, butter, and the slighty-nicer kind of bread.
The TFGSA program has received an enthusiastic reception, with thousands of hungry Canadians already signed up.
“I’ve already started saving for Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas,” says Mary Lewis, an Edmonton paralegal and mother of three. “Depending on how the market performs we might even be able to have meat!”
Winnipeg resident Dan Larkin, a young father, says he opened an account in his child’s name at the same time he opened an RESP, and was contributing a little bit every month. “I figure by the time they’re a hungry teenager, a box of cereal and some milk is gonna be like $80 bucks, so I really need to get ahead of this,” says Larkin.
However, not all the reception has been positive.
“$5500? That’s going to last me two, maybe three trips to Loblaws,” says Mississauga resident Katie Chang. “This is barely a drop in the bucket.”
While the program is in its early stages, the government admits that the number of accounts is not as high as they’d hoped.
“We don’t get it,” says Ministry of Finance spokesperson Karen Atkinson. “Canadians were calling for a way to afford groceries. I can’t think of a reason why more Canadians wouldn’t be rushing to fill this account with the thousands of idle dollars they definitely have.”
At press time, grocery giant Loblaws announced they were in talks with regulators to have grocery baskets declared a legal home in order to allow Canadians to mortgage the 1sq ft contents over a 5, 10, or 25 year period.