Archive for Economy


Wal-Mart’s Predatory Business Practices Exposed

What are the low prices of Wal Mart costing not only America, but the entire world?


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Minumum Wage Hike (Canada)

Canadian Money

Ontario’s minimum wage hits $8
Last Updated: Thursday, February 1, 2007 | 11:41 AM ET
(CBC News)

Ontario’s minimum wage officially rose on Thursday to $8 an hour, but the government warns not to expect another hike any time soon.

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Early Withdrawel RSP


It is nice if you can leave your money in RSPs but sometimes life just gets in the way and you have to make a choice..

Nearly half of Canadians withdraw retirement savings early
Last Updated: Tuesday, January 9, 2007 | 12:11 PM ET
CBC News

About 40 per cent of Canadians are shrugging off tax penalties and are pulling money from their registered retirement savings plans early to invest in homes, pay down debt and cover living expenses, a Scotiabank survey suggests.

Nearly half the respondents in the study released Monday said they had made at least one withdrawal and had no plans to pay it back.

Ian Filderman, director of mutual funds at Scotiabank, said he suspects many investors are dipping into their retirement savings without considering the consequences.

“That $5,000 had you left it invested would have grown and compounded on a tax deferred basis to over $27,000 over 25 years,” he said. “We’re talking about a loss of $22,000 in investment gain.”

Respondents who said they withdrew money from their RSPs took out an average of $18,000. When asked what they would do if their retirement savings ran dry, 42 per cent of Canadians said they planned on getting a part-time job.

Filderman said Canadians should take a long view with their savings, keeping in mind they’ll have to make their money last for longer once they retire.

“We’re living longer, that’s absolutely fantastic news but the downside is it’s going to cost us more to live in retirement because we’re living longer,” he said. “That’s why RSPs are so important and it’s important to be contributing to them, not taking out of them early.”

Thirty-seven per cent of respondents said they used money to buy, build or secure a mortgage for a home. Another 24 per cent said they withdrew money to pay back debt and 20 per cent said they used the money to pay for living expenses

Kevin Cork, an investment adviser in Calgary, said investors should separate their finances and maintain separate accounts for retirement and living expenses.

“Build an alternative savings account using … some of these high interest savings accounts, so that you don’t have to dip into the RSP because the RSP really should be considered a pension,” he said.


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Health Insurance 2007 (continued)


As mentioned in a previous post, our health insurance is going up from 204.00 to 227.00 euros a month. A 23.00 euro increase for the same coverage as last year.

We just got notification that our allowance is going up from 60.00 to 65.00 a month for 2007.

That leaves us with a difference of 18.00 euros …. I wonder where they expect people to make up that difference with staples such as heat and hydro also going up by 6%. 😐

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Health Care the Dutch Way


The inspector of the Dutch health care warns for too much competition in the health care system. Competition with prices is a bad development and according to the inspector five times this year eye surgeries have gone wrong. Because hospitals want work done cheaper, in some cases out of date equipment is used for the operations. Also surgeries are being done by ‘basic’ doctors where they should be done by specialists.

The inspector does not indicate what has gone wrong in which hospitals but an investigation follows.(NOS)

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Utilities 2006


As promised a look at our utilities here in Holland.

Keep in mind we live in a two bedroom apartment and each room has its own hot water radiator. We only use the heat in the living room in the evening if it is really cold and in the second bedroom when cold. Last year we used the heat from the end of Dec, Jan and Feb. We are very careful with our hydro and gas which is used to heat the water.

Electrify – 192.51
Gas – 129.62
Heating – 261.81
Network costs – 280.93
Meter reading – 36.41
Inhome (hot water co.) 74.31

Total, including taxes = 1177.88 euros.

That equals 1786.00 Canadian dollars for one year which is about 149. 00 a month.

This does not include water or cable costs and I will do a post on that when the water bill comes in.

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Disability Criteria Disastrous


The disability re-evaluation using the stronger criteria has disastrous affects on disabled persons.

The re-evaluations started in Oct of 2004 and over 200,000 persons have been done. The latest figures show that 9% of those told they are able to work have found jobs, and 60% took drastic pay cuts. Some of these people were placed on ‘unemployment insurance’ (or welfare) which pays less, and others lost their total income because their spouses have jobs.

Besides that a recent report by ‘Economic Business’ show that employers are absolutely not interested in hiring these people.

Persons walked into the UWV office, some disabled for years, and walked out ‘healthy’ and able to work. The unemployment office cannot do anything for these people and they are written off in due course. All that has happened is they have been moved from one system to another saving the government millions of dollars.

Two ex-insurance doctors were interviewed on NOVA and the main purpose of this new criteria was to get as many people as possible out of the UWV system.

SP cabinet member Jan de Wit was guest on the NOVA political talk show. He states that this will be an important topic in the talks to forming a coalition.

UWV official figures.

The WAO Plein. – For those interested in support, information and just sharing with others (in Dutch).

Stichting GAOS – een organisatie van, voor en door arbeidsongeschikten.

Landelijke Vereniging van Arbeidsongeschikten (LVA).

WAO Café.

L.A.M. de Groot Heupner – expertise op het door het huidige UWV gehanteerde claimbeoordelingsproces.

WAOtrefpunt– gemaakt door lotgenoten en voor lotgenoten.

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