The Harper regime, having been in power for the past decade and undoubtedly the most egregious group of divide and conquer tactic using class warfare politicians in many decades is an easy target. Harper's people - the Conservative base - don't need no stinking pensions [to paraphrase 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre'] but they do resent paying any type of axes that they believe supports 'freeloaders'. OK, OK, the Canada Pension Plan [CPC] is self supporting, but that hardly matters in this era of noble ignorance.
Then there's the Conservative's answer - tax-free savings accounts [TFSAs] - introduced by the Harper Conservatives in 2009, and are totally useless to Canadians who live paycheck to paycheck if they're lucky. Most Canadian households, far from breaking even, go further into debt every month. So the only Canadians who benefit from TFSAs are the wealthy who have excess money to deposit in a scheme designed for them to pay less taxes and thereby support less social services.
i hate Harper's policies, but to draw a line in time on the decline of Canada's social services at the beginning of Harper's reign is disingenuous [i was going to say bullshit, but that unjustly denigrates valuable manure]. Nobody in recent times cut more money from social service spending than Chretien and Martin, not even Mulroney, though he destroyed the Canadian working class with his 'free trade' crap and in so doing destroyed the tax base and citizen's livelihood that a robust manufacturing sector once provided. Harper has simply carried on the tradition of cutting taxes on the rich and then, in response to the resulting drop in economic performance, used the costs of social services that the underclasses need as the scapegoat for cutting funds to them.
That, the ongoing class war between the Bankers and Billionaires Club and the rest of us, is one of the two biggest reasons for our declining social service quality. It's short-sighted because a healthy economy is one where people have jobs that pay enough to support their families, where those jobs are adding value the countries natural endowments that produce products that they themselves use. A healthy economy is, like a healthy environment, a circle. Once that circle gets over loaded on one side it first wobbles then collapses. We now live in the wobbling era.
This delusion of endless growth based on a self-serving belief structure that refuses to acknowledge the unpaid costs to the biosphere and the cleanup/remediation costs that will bankrupt future generations is the biggest lie and the biggest reason why the politicians can get away with advancing the policies and regulations that they do.
The only real solution to our declining social services is the same as our only real solution to environmental degradation and class warfare itself - the ending of consumer capitalism.