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What you need to know about the Universal Child Care Benefit

Starting Monday, parents will get lump sum Universal Child Care Benefit payments from Ottawa. We asked Jennifer Robson to help us make sense of it all.


 

children playingStarting on July 20, parents across Canada with children under 18 can expect a nice, fat cheque in their mailboxes (or directly deposited into their bank accounts, if they’ve chosen that option). With the increase to the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), families with kids aged five and under can expect $160 per month per child (up from $100) while those with children aged six to 17 will also now receive $60 per month for each child.

But the reason this month’s payments are such big news is because they will include the extra $60 per child retroactively to Jan. 1, 2015. That means parents with a five-year-old can expect $520, and if they have a seven-year-old, too, they’ll get another $420. That’s a good chunk of change.

It can’t be that easy, can it? How do parents qualify? And why is this windfall coming now? To help answer those and other questions, we turned to Jennifer Robson, assistant professor at Carleton University’s Arthur Kroeger College.

Related: Sorting out who wins with Harper’s family tax package

So say I have two kids: Mikey, who is five, and Molly, who is seven. Why am I getting this money?

Robson: That depends on whom you ask. Let’s go back.

Even a decade ago, you’d probably be getting something for Mikey and Molly. What you got depended on your total family income and how old Mikey and Molly were. Stephen Harper comes into government in 2006, leaves part of the old child-benefit system in place, but cancels the daycare agreements with the provinces and cancels what used to be the young child supplement, and creates the UCCB. You got a flat amount—100 bucks a month for every kid who is aged under six. Don’t care how much you make, don’t care whether you use daycare, just a flat amount per kid. So Molly is seven; you wouldn’t have been getting anything from the UCCB for her.

But, back in October, the government announced it was going to change the UCCB, so you would get a monthly amount of $60 for Molly. And for Mikey who’s under six, it’s going up to $160 per month. 

That means more money in my pocket, right?

More money—sort of. Depending on your family circumstances, depending on your income, it’s possible this is not leaving you that much better off than you would have been, say, 10 years ago.

What? I could have been getting more money with the day-care and young-child supplement?

Possibly. That depends on your family circumstances. But why are you getting this? Because, back in October, the government announced it wanted to make some changes to its universal child-care benefit—not the entire child-care system and apparatus, but the one associated with their brand. (Whisper: And there’s an election coming up.)

Related: Q&A: Pierre Poilievre on parents, pensions and taxes

Do I have to register for the payments?

You have to tell the government Mike and Molly exist. You have to show you are eligible to receive this money. If you’ve previously been receiving child benefits, you should already be in the system. You can also contact CRA proactively, just to check.

So who gets the money? 

Typically, the cheque goes to the person identified as the primary caregiver. So, in a lot of circumstances, that ends up being the default of the wife. However, it is also typically the person with the lower household income. You can work it out so it goes to the lower-income parent.

With the UCCB, in particular, that’s a nice thing to do, so you don’t have to pay as much tax on it later on—which people forget. This is a taxable benefit. You’re going to get this money, but you’re going to have to pay tax on it later.

Is it possible, if I make just under the maximum for one tax bracket, this money could push me over into the next tax bracket?

It is possible. I haven’t seen any good estimates on the frequency with which that happens, but yeah, it’s possible this tips you over the scales, not only in terms of your tax liability, but if you’re really low-tax income and you’ve applied for subsidized housing or a child-care subsidy; all this money counts. In some cases, this could push people above the threshold for those benefits.

And if I’m octo-dad? Is there a limit to how much coin I can get?

I’ve never seen anything in the rules that [says there’s a limit]. What were those shows Will & Kate plus Eight, or 19 Kids and Counting? They would get a flat amount per kid. But there aren’t many families like that these days.

Related: Is the Conservative tax plan principled or just vote-buying?

Every time I have a baby, do I have to go on the registration website and say “had another kid”?

Yep, you do. Service Canada, for a couple years, has tried to do its best to coordinate when you register your birth; you have to tell governments you had kids, and they issue you paperwork. You can also inform CRA: “Hey! Had a kid. Sign me up for the new benefits.” This all works pretty well if you have a secure Internet connection.

And if my Internet is spotty?

Good luck. There are many forms and you have to go stand in lines. It’s a pain. I don’t know if you’ve had to visit a Service Canada office in the last little while. The lineups are long. If I’m a new parent and I don’t have a secure Internet connection to sign up for these benefits . . . what a pain in the ass to drag my newborn down to Service Canada, take a ticket and wait in line for hours.

Okay, now some terrible news. My wife and I split up just, like, 45 seconds ago.

I’m sorry hear that.

We’ve decided to do shared custody. But for the UCCB, is my ex going to get my money?

That’s a great question. Typically, CRA will ask you to provide some kind of documentation that will be in your separation agreement. You’ve got an agreement for how much time the kids are going to be where. Typically, lawyers will include a clause that deals with the splitting of credits and benefits. For example, for daycare benefits, there are ways to split them. Different families work out different kinds of arrangements.

[Note: After speaking with Robson, we received this from the CRA: Families with children in a shared-custody situation will receive 50 per cent of the benefit each month if the child is in shared custody, if both parents applied.]

Related: The Family Tax Cut needs a rethink

Are there any rules governing how I spend the UCCB money? ’Cause there’s this new big-screen TV I’ve been looking at.

If you wanted to. Somebody once cracked a terrible joke about beer and popcorn, but there’s nothing that prevents you from using your universal-child-care-benefit money to buy a TV or beer or popcorn. The assumption is that, whatever you’re spending it on, you are the parent who gets to decide what is best for your kids. If you use it to subsidize the cost of whatever child care arrangements you are using—home care or licensed care—there are good questions about how much daycare this actually buys a person. But you don’t have to spend it on daycare. You can spend it on whatever you want.

So is everyone getting the big cheque on Monday? Or is my cousin Gus and his family in Flin Flon, Man., going to have to wait?

As far as I understand, as long as they’ve got up-to-date information on you, they should be able to issue you a paper cheque or a direct deposit that goes directly into your bank account. I can’t see a reason why a cousin in Flin Flon should see a delay in benefit compared to you in Toronto. Is it possible a paper cheque might take a little longer to get somewhere? Maybe. The CRA has been working really hard to get people signed up on direct deposit so they can issue it electronically.

[Note: As of July 2015, CRA says approximately 70 per cent of applicants have registered for direct deposit. The majority of families, approximately 3.8 million, were identified and will automatically receive the increased UCCB on Monday. However, there are still an estimated 200,000 families with children who may be missing out if they don’t apply.]

In the mail, will it be just a cheque? Or will there be a friendly letter from Pierre Poilievre with it?

He’s done so many photo ops in front of the cheques, I would surprised if there were not some kind of insert with some nice blue-colour branding.

So, from an economist’s perspective, is the UCCB good?

Is this good? Well, child benefits have a lot of merit, be it economically, for social-policy reasons or—let’s be honest—for political reasons, too. The issue is always about how you design them so they’re the most efficient and the most effective. From one perspective, with the UCCB, we just count Mike and Molly. Boom, boom, cheque. I don’t need to know anything else about you. I don’t need to know how much money you make or what you spent the money on. I don’t ask you to keep receipts. I don’t care.

Nice and simple.

It’s simple. However, really high-income families with two kids are also getting two cheques. And, later on, they’re going to be paying some tax on that, but not the whole amount. So you end up with a system where you’re paying money to people who don’t need it. And you could be using those taxpayer dollars in a more efficient and effective way. So, child benefits—yes, good. Is this the best way to design child benefits? No.

Related: Revisiting the Conservatives’ tax cut and child benefit packages

I was kidding about the TV earlier. I really want this money to go toward the little ones. What’s the best way to save for Mikey and Molly?

In a sense, there’s no end of options. I’m well aware that the banks have been saying, “Hey! Come bring us your UCCB lump sum and open up an Registered Education Savings Plan!”

Right—an RESP.

These are tax-preferred savings accounts. They’re not quite tax prepaid. If you put that money into your RESP, you’re not going to have to pay any money on the investment earnings that build up in there. But neither are you going to get a deduction, the way you do with an RRSP.

The thing that’s attractive about the RESP is that, every dollar you put in, when it’s for Mike and Molly, triggers a matching government savings grant called the Canada Education Savings Grant. Depending on your family income, it could be 20 cents on the dollar. It could be up to 40 cents on the dollar. When Mike or Molly take the money out and they happen to be in post-secondary education, they only pay tax on that money at their very modest student taxable income rates. This is sort of like: Take the government money, get the match on the government money, get the publicly subsidized tax saving on the investment income now and, then, later on, there’s a nice little nest egg for Mike and Molly, as long as they’re in school. It doesn’t matter what happens to that money.

As a matter of fact, some RESPs are set up so that the contributions are refunded to the parent. In other words, the parents get this lump-sum refund back. They can use it for a nice cruise or to pay off their mortgage. There’s no enforcement. It’s just assumed that, if your kids are in school, you’ll probably be using this money to help them with those costs.

What are my other options?

There’s another way to do this that does not trigger the matching grants, but gives you more flexibility. Mike and Molly are five and seven. You’d have to wait a long time before you can access that [RESP] money again, because it’ll be a while before they finish high school. Another option is the Tax Free Savings Account, where you don’t get a deduction if you put that money into the TFSA, and you don’t have to pay any tax on the investment that builds up, but you also don’t have to pay any tax when you take the money out. If you’re thinking odds are good that Mikey will need braces and you’re not so sure about you’re orthodontic plan . . .

Yeah, Mikey’s teeth are not looking good these days.

You can put that [UCCB] money into a TFSA, then pull that money out later on. You don’t get the 20 per cent grant, but you still get this very generous tax treatment, for sure.

People keep saying the lump-sum payments this month, totalling close to $3 billion, will help stimulate the economy. Given that we may be in a recession, would I better serve my country by buying stuff with this money instead of saving it?

What would you do with the money?

There’s that big-screen TV.

What’s the economic stimulus in doing that? We don’t make TVs in Canada. By buying that big-screen TV, it’s not as though you’re supporting Canadian manufacturing jobs. A lot of the durable goods or services families might use this money for may not have an impact on the economy.

Also, if you were paying attention—it would have been hard to miss the announcement in October and through this pre-election period—you’d know this money is coming. A lot of the research we’ve got tells us that, when people know to expect future income, they treat it a lot like current income, so a lot of this money has already been spent. People have bought that big-screen TV, but they just put in on their credit cards. And when they get this lump-sum payment, they’ll pay down the credit card.

Thanks Jennifer. It all makes sense now. 

 


 

What you need to know about the Universal Child Care Benefit

  1. How did this Conservative election brochure get into the news pages of Macleans?

    • “How did this Conservative election brochure get into the news pages of Macleans?”

      Well judging by how when I signed up today it said the e-mail was sent by “rogers”? Somewhere in the address or subject. I’m guessing Rogers and Macleans are in bed together and perhaps even in bed with the CONservatives, why else would Macleans be one of the only places Herr Harper wants to debate.

      Leaving out of course the CBC and all other Major National News networks. Like just look at this comment board vs any of the other major news networks.

      No one will watch the Macleans debate. Except for maybe me and you and perhaps some others. But not the majority of Canadians.

      It should be MANDATORY and the Governing Party should be Obligated by LAW to attend the debate on the TAXPAYER funded CBC.

      In my honest opinion Harper is a goof a tool and another name for a cat/kitten.

      • It won’t be possible when they do away with the CBC TV which should be tomorrow. Radio is another matter.

    • Here’s a suggestion:

      for all those who decry this policy as being “unfair” or, or complain that the money should be spent on other issues…..do this: Cash the cheque and give it to the charity of your choice; for whatever “cause” you desire.

      If you aren’t willing to do this; or if you simply pocket the money for your own purposes….stop whining; as you are a hypocrite.

      • Or better: cash the cheque and vote liberal. You will get more money and it won’t be taxable.

        • I think the point is to spend it on your kids. An education policy perhaps?

        • yes….cash your cheque, and vote Liberal. Then, when Trudeau gets in as PM and implements his carbon tax, re-creates Katimavik, and numerous other hair-brained schemes only a substitute drama queen..er, teacher can think of…..

          You’ll end up losing more money that you recover under the Liberal plan.

      • I will cash the cheque and donate money to the Liberals.

        • Hey…as long as you don’t waste it on beer and popcorn.

      • If I had young kids, that’s exactly what I would likely be doing (dependent on my financial situation). But my daughter is an adult, so I’m still going to complain about this blatant attempt at vote-buying – with our own money!
        Your suggestion is excellent though for those receiving these (bribes) cheques. That’s what I did when the Harris gov’t handed out tax rebate cheques to “most” (but not all) Ontarians. I didn’t even sign the cheque – I endorsed it & sent it to Street Health. I didn’t want that money in my bank acct for a second.

        • Kay…..

          No one is buying your vote. folks can do whatever they want with the money…there isn’t a caveat in there telling you you won’t get the money unless you vote a certain way.

          Scrap the holier than thou mantra……….I’m sure you are a wonderful, caring, and progressively superior than anyone else. …….and if in doubt, you can just tell us again.

          • Tresus misunderstood (again, no surprises)

            ““”Friends, our opponents have been clear. They would take away the Universal Child Care Benefit. They’ve said so on many occasions.” — Stephen Harper (who is lying incidentally)”

            thanks for pointing that out Tresus. The conservative Government is giving back money to parents to help raise their own children. The Conservative Government is NOT telling anyone they won’t get the money unless they vote Conservative.

            The conservative Government IS however, telling people what Justin Trudeau plans to do.

          • Riiiiight.
            Harper’s saying it doesn’t matter who Canadians vote for, the UCCB will continue regardless. If they vote for the Liberals or the NDP he’ll just start sending personal cheques.

          • Tresus,

            Your continualy display of poor reading comprehension is refreshing. It is people like you that consistenly place me in the 99th Percentile during aptitude testing.

            I doubt you’ll realize what I am getting at……but it just proves my point.

          • I understand the Conservatives vote buying perfectly, along with their message that if Canadians don’t elect them, they won’t get their cheques.

  2. The reason this is the best way to distribute child benefits is because it doesn’t require all the means-testing red tape. Fewer civil servants are required and more of the allocated money can thus go directly to those in need.

    What’s missing from this too-cute-by-half presentation is that the Conservative approach is the first to actually make an impact on child poverty in Canada. It’s declining. Parents are deciding on how to spend this money and the result is better food and clothing for our most deserving. The extension of it to children of ages 7 to 17 is to ensure gains made in the younger years aren’t lost. I could see a future extension boost the monthly amounts for these children.

    This is really a tax cut for parents, but delivered in cash and monthly. It works and will now work better. Poilievre is doing his job as Minister of Employment and Social Development — parents with children over 6 have to apply and the media didn’t start pointing this out until Pierre started holding press conferences. According to the article, that’s 200,000 people he’s shouting out to. That matters.

    Oh, and copy editor needed: “you’re not so sure about you’re orthodontic plan”

    • Except that universal benefits are not the best or most efficient way for governments to deal with limited resources. Targeted benefits are a lot better because as a government you are giving more to those who need more. Unfortunately, when your objective is to buy votes, policies are not designed to take care of the best interest of the country and as a result you get inefficient and ineffective policies.

      • Once again that same Lefty argument – giving money to those who don’t need it. You are mnot old enough obbiously to remember when both the NDP and the Liberals decried a means test as it was considered “humiliating” as was receiving welfare in the Great Depression. Now it is fashionable! and an assist in one’s skiing vacation!

      • Keeper,

        The objective is to return(provide) money to parents to help raise their children. You may object to the fact that someone whom you consider “wealthy” may also receive some cash back, but you fail to realize that the “wealthy” you envy are disproportionately those who pay the most taxes. You may consider it more “fair” for only those in the lower income brackets to benefit from these payments, but you again fail to consider that it is only fair that those who pay the most to society, get some form or return as well.

        If you need an example of Governments paying money to those who truly don’t need it; simply look to Quebec’s daycare model.

        In the large urban centres such as Montreal, or Quebec city you can have a married professional couple (one a doctor, the other a lawyer) earning in excess of $450,000 per year being subsidized by a worker without kids earning just $30,000 per year. As well, the plan has a long waiting list, and some smaller villages or towns simply can’t afford to do it because the population doesn’t warrant the expense. Jean-Guy the lumberjack could be working in the backwoods, have a wife and two kids……earning $45,000 per year, and his wife is looking after the kids…and he’s paying for the convenience of “free” daycare for the wealthy who live in cities.

        you know…same program the Liberals want to enact if they get into power. of course, given that folks in the large urban centres tend to vote Liberal……I’m sure it is just a good policy move meant to help folks….and not some partisan policy to garner support at the ballot box.

        Let parents decide how they want to spend their earnings. you know….like the Conservatives are wont to do.

  3. The UCCB can be put in an informal trust account in the name of the child (parent as trustee), just as CCTB payments can. (All in the same account, even).

    This is sort of like an RESP without the spending restrictions, or a TFSA except in the child’s own name (since you can’t have a TFSA in your name until you are 18). If you save up all the CCTB and UCCB money in a trust in the child’s name, all growth each year is counted as the child’s income (hence probably tax free), and at 18 they can start transferring it over to their own TFSA for future growth to remain tax-free, or they can use it for RRSP contributions if they have taxable income to reduce; either way, it can be perpetually tax-sheltered.

    Also, putting it in an informal trust means it won’t use up any of your own TFSA or RRSP or RESP room, since all of those have maximum annual (or lifetime) contribution limits.

  4. Some observations:

    “Harper’s” family tax package? How about the Conservative Party’s package/ Better yet, why not the federal government’s package?

    “That means more money in my pocket, right?” Hard to imagine how anyone will not be better off than they were. And even if that were the case, just where is it written that everyone has to benefit from a new policy of any kind??

    And yes, the policy is one associated with their brand. That’s how it’s done, Ms. Robson. Poilievre and his government are fully entitled to take credit. They created the policy, you see, and that also means they can put a note in along with the cheque. Any other government would do so, and it’s not inappropriate either. What is lamentable is the cynical, sarcastic attitude from a person who lives and works in Ottawa and should know better.

    And by the way, most of us have a secure internet connection and will not have “to wait in line at Service Canada” for “hours”. Moreover, for $520 per child, I would submit that the wait is well worth it. Especially if you don’t have the funds for Internet.

    “…really high-income families with two kids are also getting two cheques.” Well. Of course. That’s how the policy works. Should they get less just because they are “rich”? The part about paying “too much money” to “people who don’t need it”…that sounds like something a Communist or a Marxist would say. I think most of us don’t begrudge those who are well off. They do pay about 40% of all taxes collected, after all. Which tax revenue enables this new UCCB policy. Au contraire, sounds like a pretty good way to design child benefits, Ms. Robson.

    • Paul you are exactly right.Anytime this Government does something good for the people of Canada,nobody realizes or hears about it because our UN CANADIAN press ( my words) do not report it or if they do they spin it in a negative way.When the Conservatives were just about forced by the opposition Lib/NDP to spend billions of dollars to keep Canada going during the recession which put them in a deficit position,the press and opposition in Canada went absolutely nuts attacking PM Harper and the Conservatives.But outside Canada the free world leaders were heaping praise on Canada and it,s government for keeping Canada stable and leading the world out of the recession first.Now that the deficit has been erased,still no praise for the Government,but sarcastic drivel like we just read from Aaron Hutchins.Canadians that keep on top of the news and now know where to get the truth and that’s not CBC or CTV,but on the internet and usually the Sun chain of newspapers.More and more of these TV stations and newspapers are losing their employees because of low circulation and low viewer audiences.Most of this was brought on by themselves.You cannot keep lying to the people and attacking the Government that the people elected day after day for 10 years and not expect to be punished.Start telling us the truth and stop attacking the Government we elect (unless they do what Chretien did with adscam) and maybe news reporters will become trusted again.As of now you are at the low end of careers our children want to get into.And sadly this left wing creep has crept into our schools and police and definitely our labor unions.

      • “When the Conservatives were just about forced by the opposition Lib/NDP to spend billions of dollars to keep Canada going during the recession ”

        The Conservative Party of Canada appreciates your support and would like to encourage you to keep the comments coming!

      • Albert. Your comments are among the most intelligent that I have read on any article published by
        MacLeans. The majority of the media in Canada is so left leaning it is disturbing. The Harper government if it performed Herculean acts would be criticized for being too strong. Please comment much more often!!

      • Albert……

        What you say is true. Did you notice how the folks at the CBC reported that the majority of benefits would be going to conservative ridings? They never tried to explain why…..but simply tried to make the policy sound like it was “buying support”

        They got it bass-ackwards. Ridings with parents tend to support the Conservative’s family friendly policies, so they voted a Conservative MP into office. now the CBC is seemingly surprised that these same folks with kids would be seeing the most benefits.

        I’m thinking the Journlism schools in Canada should be scrapped, and started from scratch. No one puts a pen to paper until they learn to think critically. or frankly, learn to think at all. The majority of the Canadian media is as pathetic as it is predictable.

      • Brilliant ironic portrayal of a partisan comment!

        • I’m not a journalist, nor have I ever written I am non-partisan. There is a difference.

          Canadian media (most of it) claims to be non-partisan, but if you have ever watched a “journalist” on the CBC, you know it isn’t true. Particulary if the topic is about Conservatives, Jews, or Christians.

    • A scheme in which the government collects taxes then distributes money to people with children sure doesn’t sound like something a communist or Marxist would think up because of course, the money isn’t being redistributed to meet a need.
      Can you just remind us again why it’s being redistributed?

      • I’m sure hundreds of thousands of single moms raising kids on two minimum wage contract no benefit jobs really need this.
        But a standard two wage earner couple probably realizes that it would make more sense to spend money on seniors a group that will burden the so called middle class and rob them if their retirement in future years.

        • Oh, I’m sure there are people who need the money. But that’s not why the Conservatives brought this in….that’d be communist.

          • Tresus Capax, you obviously know little about Marxism

          • Yup. Just wut I lurned from Paul Harwood, above.

          • Blacktop…..if you read any of Tresus’ other comments, you would soon realize that he knows little of anything.

            But I bet he knows the quickest route to the cheque cashing outlets.

      • What do you mean “not being used to fill a need”? A benefit for children is automatically a constructive proposal and is therefore “filling a need.”

      • Tresus whined:
        “A scheme in which the government collects taxes then distributes money to people with children sure doesn’t sound like something a communist or Marxist would think up because of course, the money isn’t being redistributed to meet a need.
        Can you just remind us again why it’s being redistributed?”

        Tresus, the only “need” you are concerned about with regards to Conservative tax / family policy……is the need for you to get a cut before you agree with it.

        Here’s a hint, Tresus. Kids are expensive, they need clothes, shelter, sports, entertainment, school, toys..etc..etc……

        given parents back some of the money they paid in taxes eliminates the “NEED” for those who are struggling to pay the bills to sacrifice more than they have to in order to provide for their children. Every little bit helps.

        You’re just ticked because some folks who are more wealthy than you will also see a return. Class envy……..essential for NDP supporter.

        • So we are redistributing wealth because some people need it?

          • We are giving money back to parents who need it to help raise their kids.

            I’ve never been opposed to ALL wealth distribution for those folks who truly require our help. (disabled, mentally unfit, raised by folks like Tresus..etc..etc..)
            I’m opposed to wealth distribution that is designed to buy votes from those who envy people who work harder than they do, are more intelligent that they are, or who are willing to take risks and make sacrifices to get ahead of where they currently are.

            Your concern for wealth distribution only applies so far as you are the one on the receiving end.

          • “I’ve never been opposed to ALL wealth distribution for those folks who truly require our help.”

            Ahhh, so you’re against this cash handout to the rich.
            Thanks for clearing that up.

          • Tresus,

            I would highly recommend that prior to hit the “post comment” button, you re-read what you are responding to. then re-read it a few more times. You consistent misinterpretation is a sign of your closed mind. You are not responding to an actual comment, you are responding to what you THINK is being written, and not what is ACTUALLY being written.

            you must be very tired of repeating “do you want fries with that”…every time you go to work. Not a huge deal….but at least you have finally found a job you find challenging.

          • OK, so you’re not opposed to wealth redistribution for those folks who “truly require help” and you’re not opposed to wealth redistribution to the rich.
            Got it now.

            And yes, working in this fast food restaurant is great. Especially the unlimited and unregulated computer use.

          • So you have a McDonalds in your mom’s basement?

            Cool.

          • Modest suggestion for you:

            When you’ve got no argument but, “you live in your mom’s basement!”, “you work in a fast food restaurant!”, you might temper your failure somewhat by at least producing original insults.

  5. Ms. Robsom is making one large error. At the same time the UCCB was raised by $720 a child, the non-refundable tax credit of $338 per child was dropped to zero. For a family that paid taxes, the increase in the UCCB is $720-$338, a whole bunch less. Then the family pays taxes on the increased taxable income….in the second tax bracket in Ontario this is $158 in federal taxes and $66 in provincial taxes. In the end, for this family – the $720 shrinks to $158 per child or a big $13 a month. No wonder the Conservative packed it together. Most of what a taxpaying family receives in 2015 – they will pay back when they do their tax return in 2016.

    • This is a long held principle that most income is taxable – hence high income families will pay most of the benefit back to the Crown. That is the justification for abandoning income testing. Once upon a time income testing implied a horde of clerks. Either way it is now a question of automation. It is cheaper to rid the system of exceptions.

  6. So why not tell the part about that this is taxable income and, depending on income, the government will probably be getting a big piece of this money back. How convenient that you left that out. Makes it seem like Christmas in July.

    • RYMAR….

      the reason is pretty straightforward.

      People who make enough money that it results in much of the benefit being recovered at tax time…..are already smart enough to have figured it out….they don’t need to have it explained to them.

  7. “Typically, lawyers will include a clause that deals with the splitting of credits and benefits.”Yes, and it won’t work, if you share care of the kids 50/50, but your separation agreement says the lower-income parent gets the full UCCB. Rev Can is not bound by your separation agreement.

  8. Not here to argue politics, but I’m sure glad the Cons have sent this money and the retro payment. About time a government gave instead of took.

    • Yes, apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what has the government ever done for us?

      • All of those are falling into decline.

        So I guess my answer would be Sweet F/A?

    • But they aren’t giving haha. It’ll all be clawed back

  9. That’s right, buying votes with Canadians own money.

    Funny that.

  10. The comments above clearly demonstrate that the Harper government has successfully divided Canadians against each other. If it were only this, they could be forgiven for temporary stupidity. However, this ploy has been applied relentlessly by this government. It’s called Divide and Conquer. Split the people into factions, throw a few carefully targeted crumbs at each faction, and voila, everyone forgets about the greater good. Our society is growing more selfish and the Conservatives are pandering to it with a vengeance.

    Has anyone noticed that all the Conservative propaganda (note I didn’t say Government advertising) brags about all the money families will get, but never mentions that it is taxable and some will have to be given back? July’s joy may turn to shock for many families next April. Furthermore, does it not seem strange that the recipients of this Conservative largesse have already given some of that money to the government, and will have to give give back an amount based on their marginal tax rate.

    People, we are being played for suckers by the most devious government this country has ever had.

    • Stan….

      Clearly you have been living out of the country before 2006.

      The liberls still hold the record for the most corrupt, immoral Governments Canada has ever had.

      Try this: you dropped your wallet (three times!!) in front of each major Party Headquarters. A member from each party picked it up…here’s the result.

      Conservative Party member: Looked in the wallet and found your name and contact info. He didn’t look for, or count your money; it’s not his, he didn’t earn it. Instead, he called and let you know he found it, and asks for directions to return it to your home.

      NDP Member: Found your wallet, counted the money, and divided it up into seperate piles so he could later determine how best to redistribute it. He drops the empty wallet in the nearest post box assuming the Government would get it back to you; whoever you are. (NDP don’t realize yet Canada post isn’t run by the Government)

      Liberal Party member: Pocketed the wallet without checking contents or looking for ID. He’ll do that once he’s at home where no one can see him. If this Liberal Member was in company with another Liberal when the wallet was found, he would lie about how much money he found so that the “cut” to the other Liberal wouldn’t be as high….but a “cut” would be demanded and expected.

      • I know this was entirely fabricated in your imagination, but it’s so true.
        Any government that appoints Dean Del Mastro as it’s Ethics representative is pretty much untouchable in that department.

        • James…I have lived here all my life, and the last decent Conservative leader in my experience was George Drew. As to questions of morality, how many Conservative senators have been nailed for dishonesty compared to the number of Liberals? One is known by the company he keeps, and Mr.Harper has surrounded himself with more people, including cabinet ministers, of questionable morality than any P.M. that I can recall.

          In general, I have to think of the G8-G20 boondoggle, the mismanagement of the F-35 acquisition and the naval ship replacement; what is basically Conservative Party propaganda masquerading as government advertising and paid for by us; the disgusting attack ads; taking credit for saving the economy when it was bank regulations put in by the Liberals that prevented us going down the toilet like the U.S., Ireland, etc.; refusing to debate with the other party leaders because he can’t control the agenda; muzzling scientists; fixed date elections (and who broke his own law?); using the P.M.O in a manner that is reminiscent of Stalin’s politburo, and worst of all, Harper’s total lack of respect for parliament and it’s rules.

          Want me to go on?

          • Stan,

            There are many who can make similar comments about past Liberal leaders; who were truly corrupt.

            You wrote:
            “how many Conservative senators have been nailed for dishonesty compared to the number of Liberals?”

            Whether Liberal of Conservative, the PM does not vet the appointees…he’s given a list and he has to pick. The Senate has a long history of appointing party hacks….so no change no matter who appoints them. You will note that harper wanted to change the process, but met roadblocks every step of the way. There are plenty of examples of Liberal malfeasance….in both the senate and parliament. No one is innocent here….but the difference of course is that harper fires the Senators who have done wrong…..the Liberals try to defend them; or kick them out of caucus to try and stop the dirt from sticking. As for harper surrounding himself with people of questionable morality….sorry, Stan. Just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t make them immoral. I know that is how Liberals think…but it doesn’t make it true.

            you go on…

            “In general, I have to think of the G8-G20 boondoggle, the mismanagement of the F-35 acquisition and the naval ship replacement”

            The G8-G20 “boondoggle” as you call it was so because of lefty protestors. Frankly, I would rather do without them, as most agreements are made before anhyone shows up…so why bother? You do recall similar episodes under the Liberals correct? Same crap…different pile. The F-35 was not a boondoogle, and neither was the ship building contracts. There are alwasy problems in military procurement….the diffence of course, is that Harper is TRYING to procure the equipment for our Forces….while the Liberals gave us the “Decade of Darkness”. Do you remember the Opposition parties attacking Harper because he wanted to buy Heavy lift aircraft? He ignored them and bought them anyway. Less than a year later these very same aircraft were airlifting life saving support to vicitms of natural disasters. No more waiting weeks to rent aircraft from the russians. I suspect your actual problem with Conservative Party policy with regards to military procurement…..is that they are doing it.

            The genius continues:
            “disgusting attack ads; taking credit for saving the economy when it was bank regulations put in by the Liberals that prevented us going down the toilet like the U.S., Ireland, etc.”

            Disgusting attack ads? I think you meant “Factual ads” What ad about Ignatieff was not true? What about Dion? I think history shows that the ads were bang on……which is why you don’t like them. If in doubt…call Michael Ignatieff….he is back at Harvard…..just as the ads indicated he would be.

            The economy: You do recall when Chretian was elected that he renegged on his promises to scrap free trade…gst..etc. Frankly, the only original think Chretien did was cancel the new Aircraft for the Navy. It took a while…but Harper has since corrected that error. We are however, still stuck with the expensive Subs Chretien bought second hand.
            As for other economic measure the Liberals used to SAVE the Canadian economy, you may ask why it needed saving? It was in dire straights due to another Liberal PM…..Trudeau Senior. His policies caused the Canadian debt to ballon out of control, and it took Mulroney and Free trade, the GST, etc. to start getting the books in order. Further, when the REFORM party was in opposition, they attacked the Liberal financial policy relentlessly…and once the public started to agree with Preston Manning and his party…the Liberals lifted that policy straight fromt he reform economic policy handbook. Guess what…it worked. The Liberals turned the economy around by taking the policy of the Reform party and implementing it. Guess what, Stan? The Reform economic policy was created by an MP from Calgary. Young guy by the name of Stephen harper. I wonder what became of that guy? (Same with the Clarity Act. Harper wrote the draft for that “Liberal” policy as well…….but no credit given of course).

            You spout on:
            “refusing to debate with the other party leaders because he can’t control the agenda; muzzling scientists; fixed date elections ”

            I would also refuse to debate a wing-nut like Elizabeth May, or other nutters. Why waste time debating May, when your target is Trudeau and Mulcair? Sounds like smart policy to me. the Green’s aren’t even an official party…so why bother?
            Muzzling Scientists:
            Hmm…guess you haven’t been following all of the reports. There have been many thousands of pages of research conducted and reported since Harper has been PM. What you are really concerned about, is the restriction on some of the more questionable “scientists” who are more interested in “social justice” issues, or are adherents to the fraudulent claims of man-made global warming. Why would you give carte blanche to government scientists who follow and agenda as opposed to the scientific method? Sorry….if scientists on the public payroll are concerned they can’t spout their theories……they can go elsewhere and report on whatever they want…no matter how wrong it is. Maybe Greenpeace or the Sierra Club.

            Fixed election dates: hey….if the opposition wants to run the country, then they should actually win an election; not hijack it by forming a coalition with a party that hates Canada. you may be ok with that….but the voters apparently had a different idea. That you didn’t like the outcome is not harper’s fault.

            The idiocy continues:
            “in a manner that is reminiscent of Stalin’s politburo”

            This line is evidence enough that you are truly “WAY OUT THERE”…..I suspect you also think George Bush blew up the World Trade towers.

            as for respecting Parliamentary rules………..just because the Conservatives know the rules better than the opposition isn’t harper’s failing. It is the failing of the Oppostion. And again……you fail to note the shenanigans when the Liberals were running the show…….but again, the following of rules is not really your concern; so much as the fact that your guys keep losing.

            As for wanting you to go on….fill your boots. whatever you post….I’ll rip you apart and show you for the partisan hack you are. I enjoy it.

          • “Whether Liberal of Conservative, the PM does not vet the appointees…”

            Ahahaha!
            Poor Harper, he had no choice.
            And how was he to know that Duffy had recently been found to have violated ethical standards for his profession.
            Sure, I knew that, but you can’t expect the PM to know that kind of thing.

          • Tresus,

            Using your logic…then Jean Chretien, and every liberal MP knew about the Sponsorship scandal.

          • Because the Sponsorship Scandal continued on after it was on the public record, just like Duffy’s appointment after his ethical violations were widely reported in the media?

          • James

            Keep on making excuses for Harper and his gang. We’ll see in October what others think of them.

            As to your comment about Bush, you are wrong. But Harper has lowered our government to the same level as Bush and his fellow conservatives in the U.S. And speaking of wingnuts…..

            Stan

          • Tresus wrote:

            “Poor Harper, he had no choice.
            And how was he to know that Duffy had recently been found to have violated ethical standards for his profession.
            Sure, I knew that, but you can’t expect the PM to know that kind of thing.”

            Tresus, it is not the PM’s job to vet the expense claims of everyone in caucus, that is what auditors are for. And please note, when Harper even SUSPECTED that something was going on…he fired Duffy; and anyone else who may have been padding their expense claims. And if your think the Duffy expense claim is in the same category as Sponsorship, you are clearly deluded, or very misinformed.

            Duffy: Fat former broadcaster who padded his expense claims…..got caught and was ordered to repay the money. He apparently didn’t have it, so Nigel Wright used HIS OWN MONEY (out of pocket) to pay back the taxpayers, and then reported that everything had been made right. harper found out this wasn’t the case…and he fired both of them over $90K.

            sponsorship: the Liberal party had a Scheme whereby in exchange for money, they would offer contracts worth over $400 MILLION to companies in Quebec in exchange for a cut. Many Liberals involved, many liberals made wealthy….but No Liberals were fired, or jailed.

            yeah….I can’t see the difference either.

          • Stan wrote:

            “Keep on making excuses for Harper and his gang. We’ll see in October what others think of them.

            As to your comment about Bush, you are wrong. But Harper has lowered our government to the same level as Bush and his fellow conservatives in the U.S. And speaking of wingnuts…..”

            Stan…spelling out the details of what actually happened, as opposed to what the Media or opposition parties “SPIN” the story to be is not making excuses. It is stating the truth about what is really happening. You don’t want to face the reality that the Liberal party is filled with crooks who can’t wait to get back in to power….not because they don’t like the direction the country is heading, but simply because they miss the largesse the positon provides when they control the public purse. We’ve seen it repeatedly. Liberals steal when given the chance. Or I should say….Liberal MP’s tend to steal.

            As for the election results………if the Canadian People vote for someone other than the Conservatives….then so be it. I can easily accept that without having to agree with the people’s choice.

            that is the difference between the Conservatives and the Progressives. Conservatives can accept it without agreeing with it…whereas folks on the left side of the spectrum always assume that something went wrong, or that something was “rigged” because they can’t understand how someone could vote for anyone other than who the Progressive agrees with.

            here’s a hint Stan….progressives don’t have the “lock” on right or wrong, good policy or bad. You just think you do.

            People sometimes disagree…….but that should be accepted. You guys simply assume you are always right about everything…..and can’t accept that you may be wrong.

          • You’re confused.
            Mike Duffy violated the ethical code of his profession.
            He was then awarded with a Senate seat by Stephen Harper, over the millions of Canadians who conduct themselves ethically in their jobs.

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