Sorting out who wins with Harper’s family tax package

For families making $180,000-plus, a $1,452 average tax cut

Nathan Denette/CP

Nathan Denette/CP

Who will benefit most from the set of tax cuts for families unveiled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in a campaign-style event just north of Toronto last week? It’s a question economists and tax experts have been hashing out, but, so far, the federal Finance department has refused to release the figures needed to clear up the confusion.

Partial numbers I’ve been able to persuade the government to give me suggest that the $4.6 billion in tax relief Harper announced will be spread out among families at different income levels, more or less in proportion to their share of the population. That sounds fair. But the fact remains that those with high incomes will pocket a lot more cash, on average, than those earning much, much less.

In case you missed it, Harper announced two big changes. The first is a tax credit, worth up to $2,000, calculated by letting the higher-earning spouse in a couple with kids transfer up to $50,000 of income to the lower-earning spouse. In total, Canadian families will pay $1.9 billion less in taxes as a result of this income-splitting measure in 2015-16.

The second is a boost to the so-called Universal Child Care Benefit, from $100 to $160 a month for each child under the age of six, as well as a new $60-a-month payment for each kid aged six to 17. This measure will cost Ottawa an estimated $2.6 billion in 2015-16.

Harper also announced a hike to the deduction for child care expenses, to $8,000 a year from $7,000, which is, no doubt, of great interest to moms and dads paying for daycare, but overall, this measure is expected to amount to only about $65 million for 200,000 tax-paying families.

It’s not an easy package to sort out. Finance Minister Joe Oliver is urging us to consider the whole contraption, rather than its separate moving parts. He has tossed out the figure that two-thirds of the benefits will go to middle- and low-income families, and also said the cuts won’t disproportionately benefit the wealthy.

Oliver’s assertions struck me as a good starting point for some analysis. So, following his lead, I asked his office and department for a separate breakdown of the projected distribution of the benefits of each of the proposed tax changes for families at different income levels. So far, the government has refused to give me this basic information, without which, I don’t see how the tax package can be fairly judged.

What the Finance department deigned to provide was data on the distribution of tax relief from all the proposed new measures lumped together. It’s frustrating that Oliver won’t reveal details of the separate impacts of the tax-splitting credit and the higher universal benefit. Still, the figures they gave me tell us something, at least.

Overall, the family tax measures announced on Oct. 30 by the Prime Minister are worth about $4.6 billion. Of that total, 36 per cent, or slightly less than $1.7 billion, will go to 1.7 million families with incomes under $60,000. It averages out to $970 per household, according to the Finance projections.

Families making $60,000 to $120,000—the 1.2 million households that we might see as the core of the Canadian middle class—will cumulatively get 32 per cent of the benefits, or $1.5 billion, which averages out to $1,219 per family.

Moving into the more prosperous strata of the income spectrum, some 675,000 families making $120,000 to $180,000 will divide up 18 per cent of the benefits, or just under $800 million, for $1,183 per family, on average.

But the biggest average benefit goes to the roughly 460,000 families with incomes over $180,000—on average, fully $1,452 per family. The department expects these high-earning households to soak up about 15 per cent of the $4.6 billion in total relief under Harper’s family tax package, or about $665 million.

It’s possible to spin these numbers several ways. Critics will fasten on the glaring fact that families making $180,000 or more will pocket about 50 per cent more in tax savings (that nice $1,452 average benefit) than families making under $60,000 (the still no-doubt-very-welcome $970).

But the government would prefer we not just compare dollar figures. The Finance department sent me a table showing tax relief from all the new measures taken together as a share of federal tax paid by families with kids.

Seen this way, the average family making $30,000 to $60,000 benefits to the tune of 31 per cent of its previous federal tax bill, while the average family making $180,000 or more enjoys relief worth just four per cent of its federal taxes. This must be what Oliver means when he says of the tax package, “It’s very progressive.”

But can Ottawa afford or justify tax breaks, just now, for hundreds of thousands of families doing reasonably or very well—those earning, let’s say for argument’s sake, higher than the midpoint of all incomes? In 2012, according to Statistics Canada, the median family income was $74,540, including all two-parent and lone-parent families, plus couples without children.

And about those couples without kids, or, for that matter, taxpayers who are single: I have not heard a compelling reason why the generous suite of tax cuts announced by the Prime Minister excludes them. The government clearly boosted the Universal Child Care Benefit, at least in part, to do something to help single parents, so Harper wasn’t left offering only the major benefit that income-splitting represents to some two-parent families.

But why do well-off couples, even if they are raising kids, need a tax break ahead of struggling single men and women, or couples who happen not to have children?

That’s another set of questions about fairness, though. There’s more than enough to debate here while sticking with Harper’s focus on families with children. If only his government were willing to release the analysis of impacts, for each of its proposed changes, that’s needed for the debate to be an informed one, based on facts, rather than a clash of slogans, based on best guesses.

Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 4.21.07 PM

Tax relief from the proposed changes, as a share of federal income tax paid, by family income (2015)

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Sorting out who wins with Harper’s family tax package

  1. Mr. Geddes…..

    It simply stands to reason, that those who PAY MOST OF THE TAXES…..see the greatest return of the money they have earned.

    If for example, I pay $65,000 per year in taxes, why shouldn’t I get more back, than the guy who pays $6000 per year?

    At the end of the day, those who pay the most taxes are still seeing a larger percentage of their incomes going to Government coffers, than are those who pay few if any taxes.

    That being said, the fairest system is always going to be a flat tax, and an increase in the basic exemption.

    the simplest solution, is usually the most effective.

    • “That being said, the fairest system is always going to be…”

      If only assertion had the power to shape reality.
      Dum-dum boy would be god.

      • Lenny,

        Your inability to grasp basic economics is your failing, not mine.

        • Apparently their is a consensus amongst economists on the fairest system of taxation and this consensus is part of “basic economics”.


          • there

          • Lenny….

            I won’t try and guess what you keep snorting…..

            but it would explain the rambling, confused posts you keep making.

        • Odd that western nations reject “basic economics.”
          But then two countries renowned for their fairness, Saudi Arabia and Russia embrace “basic economics”.
          Can you give me a reference to the literature on this?

          • Lenny,

            Once you figure out what you want to say…….come back and try again.

            Until then, I would suggest that you read a book on economics. Of course, it would be something by Adam Smith, rather than Keynes.

            “Invisible hand” would be a good start.

          • This isn’t hard.
            I’m waiting for a reference supporting your claim that the ” the fairest system is always going to be a flat tax, and an increase in the basic exemption,” and that this is a tenant of “basic economics”.
            If your source is the same as your that of your claim that the Criminal Code prohibits flirting, then simply cite your imagination.

          • Ha!

          • Once again, Lenny…..

            your failure to grasp the obvious…is well…obvious.

            While many of those who post on this site vehemently disagree with my arguments…they at least understand what my argument is.

            you on the other hand….cannot be debated with for a very clear reason. You actually don`t understand what I am writing.

            School must have been very difficult for you.

            especially the three years you spent in grade 6.

          • On a scale of 1 to 10, pretending to be misunderstood as a face saving measure in this case, is a weak 1.

          • Lenny,

            You have proven repeatedly, that you simply do not understand what I am writing. Most people; even those who disagree with me, at least understand the points I am making; even if they don’t agree with them.

            Until you actually manage to “figure out” what I am saying, you are arguing against yourself; because your responses to my posts are responses to things I haven’t written.

            but you keep trying.

          • Lenny,

            You have proven repeatedly, that you simply do not understand what I am writing. Most people; even those who disagree with me, at least understand the points I am making; even if they don’t agree with them.

            Until you actually manage to “figure out” what I am saying, you are arguing against yourself; because your responses to my posts are responses to things I haven’t written.

            but you keep trying.

            You seem to be the only person on here who doesn’t understand what I am saying. Why is that I suppose?

          • This whole, ‘what-I-wrote-in-plain-English-has-an-obvious-alternative-meaning-which-I-can’t-explain-but-which-people-I-can’t-name-also-understand’ thing really isn’t doing it.

          • Again, Lenny….your failing not mine.

            I didn’t expect you to get it the third of fourth time I repeated it. Frankly, I think you simply lack the complexity.

    • Harper could do the acts of Mother Theresa and still be maligned by the left-leaning MacLean’s. I fully agree with JAMESHALIFAX-sounds like no political bias just sound logic.

      • We have a progressive tax system in Canada, nummies. So does the US.

        We don’t rearrange it to suit your rightwing bumper stickers.

        Macleans is both working class and rightwing….so stop with the rubbish.

        • And just in case anyone was still questioning whether or not our Emily has, um, some issues, here’s a thread just 5 months old in which she is telling everyone that Macleans is not a working class magazine, and therefore should not be running articles about hockey players.


          Yet here she is insisting the exact opposite. Rubbish indeed.

          We’ll see how long it takes Macleans to remove this comment. They’ve become increasingly protective of their resident troll in recent months.

          • LOL I was trying to upgrade past hockey, but Macleans remains Don Cherryland.

            You have anything to do in your life other than worry about me?

            PS Macleans would be very happy if I left.

          • If Macleans would be happy if you left, please indulge them. However, that does not explain why several very reasonable comments critical of your poisonous attitude and pointing out your tenuous grip on reality were recently removed from another thread within an hour of them being made. Someone here has a soft spot for you.

          • Unlike you I don’t pour over every old comment I’ve made on here. OR stupid remarks in response to them. LOL

            I comment and move on….you’d be wise to do the same and stop following me.

            Stalking women is dangerous these days.

          • Emily wrote:
            “PS Macleans would be very happy if I left.”

            Actually, emily…..Macleans would like to keep you around for as long as possible. You make the other lefties / wingnuts on this site sound sensible in comparison.

        • Can’t avoid you – you’re in every comment section here. Every single one of them. And it’s obvious you don’t bother remembering your old comments, since your new ones so often contradict what you said the week before.

          • Nope, sorry….not even remotely close.

            It’s just a woman with an opinion really REALLY bugs you.

            Tough shitsky said the Russian.

          • Emily wrote:
            “It’s just a woman with an opinion really REALLY bugs you.”

            Emily…..it has nothing to do with you being a woman. Bat-Shiit crazy has nothing to do with ones sex.

        • Wait a minute EMILYONE, you directly contradicted yourself here. Raging_Ranter has clearly pointed out that you had referred to Macleans as not being a working-class magazine in a previous thread. Today you say that it is? Explain that contradiction for everyone here please.

          Do you post because you have something to say, or do you simply post for the sake of just saying something???

          Your challenge is to directly address that contradiction. Skirting the issue with LOL’s and “rubbish” comments won’t help your case at all.

          • If you’re going to interrupt then read the posts first….I said I was trying to convince Macleans to upgrade at the time….but they remain solidly working class.

          • Emily……

            what would you know about work?

        • Emily,

          One would think that the constant complaints about the tax system would be a good indication that it should be “tweaked” somewhat.

          If sound economics is; in your view, rubbish, then please stop whining about it, and simply thank me for paying your way. I’m sure those meds coursing through your bloodstream are very expensive. Clearly your dosage is inadequate, so I will contact the CRA and request they take another $5000 from me and direct it to the local pharmacy in your area to help you out.

      • The word ‘logic’ doesn’t mean whatever it is you think it means.

    • No the people who make the most money should pay a progressively higher proportion of their income in taxes. They can afford it and they benefit the most from our system. They don’t need tax cuts. Neither do already profitable corporations. They benefit the most from the courts, the infrastructure, police protection, post secondary education, and the Labour of others below them in the food chain who do most of the work. (Or maybe you believe pay has anything to do with how hard you work, rather than luck, social connections and the color of your skin. )

      • Great…..another Socialist loser who took time off from his pot-induced nap in the public parks to provide us with this gem:

        “No the people who make the most money should pay a progressively higher proportion of their income in taxes.”

        Ok, AnyRandDeathMask…..explain to us WHY we should pay so much more than you do? (I doubt you make any contribution, given the envious nature of your post)

        He tried with this:
        ” They can afford it and they benefit the most from our system. They don’t need tax cuts. Neither do already profitable corporations.”

        While I am tiring of explaining economics to the clueless, I’ll try again.

        Ask yourself WHY they can afford it? Do you think maybe it’s because they work harder than you…are smarter than you…and have a better work ethic than you? Or do you think someone above just flipped a coin to decide who would have more?

        “they don’t need tax cuts”

        Ok, again, explain why they don’t need tax cuts? Is it because they already have enough money? Again, refer to my points above.

        The genius continues with:
        “Neither do already profitable corporations.”

        Actually, they do need tax cuts. In order to remain a viable entitiy, a corporation HAS TO MAKE A PROFIT…otherwise they cease to exist. That’s the point you duffus…without profit, the company dies, and those who work there will find themselves unemployed; and most likely stuck behind some loser in the Unemployment line who has never worked a day in their life. (sound like someone you know AynyRandDeathMask?) And in case you are unaware….the taxes the company paid to the Government, as well as the taxes from those whom it employed, will dry up. And since you no doubt receive your monthy income from OTHER people who work……you should be glad corporations make a profit. Someone has to work and pay taxes so that you can eat every day.

        More genius:
        ” They benefit the most from the courts, the infrastructure, police protection, post secondary education, and the Labour of others below them in the food chain who do most of the work.”

        Clearly, this is an example of sour grapes. Blaming the success of others’ who work harder than does AynRandDeathMask, is a means for him to explain why he is such a failure. It has nothing to do with the skills he lacks, nor the ambition he cannot comprehend…no, AnyRandDeathMask is convinced the deck is stacked against him. Yep..typical socialist claptrap. Take the SUCCESS of other folks, and use it to explain PERSONAL FAILURE.

        Keep it up…..that will get you far. (but no further than the park you usually toke up in during the sunny afternoons).


        “Or maybe you believe pay has anything to do with how hard you work, rather than luck, social connections and the color of your skin. )”

        Which, is basically a summation of everything I suspected above.

        In AynRandDeathMask’s view…..his PERSONAL FAILURES have nothing to do with how hard he DOESN’T work, but instead is due to his bad luck. He further complains that social connections are one of the big reasons for success…and he may have a point to some extent. For example:

        If you hang around a bunch of high-school drop-outs smoking pot in the park, there is a good chance that you will never see the inside of an office building on the management floor. If on the other hand, you hang around a bunch of people who work hard, are professional, and have taken the time, and sacrificed the expense to get a REAL education in the fields employers require and value……chances are, you’ll be much more successful than the losers in the first group.

        any guess to which group AynRandDeathMask associates with?

  2. Macleans is a working-class magazine. There’s not much point in discussing upper middle-class concerns.

    • Snob. Typical elitist attitude from you. Waiting for your screed against plumbers… it’s surely on the way.

      • Working class people can’t use this act…..snob.

      • Relax Keith. The Internet is full of trailer park residents who adopt “upper class” personas online. If our resident troll were anywhere near the upper class she purports to belong to, she would not spend all day every day commenting here at Macleans. Cuz that just ain’t what the upper class does with their time. Also note that Emily never gets into detailed discussions about complex tax issues, other than to make snarky remarks about it. Because most complex tax issues don’t apply to her. Her little pension is reported on her T1 and that’s it. In the tax business, we call that a “simple return”.

        • Emily doesn’t talk to low IQ turnips…..sorry.

          • No, but she refers to herself in the third person. Talking to inanimate objects can’t be that far off.

          • Well, you’re an inanimate object, and I’ve talked to you for some time. LOL

            However there’s no point in it…..you’re some free-lance HR Block worker commenting on ‘rich people’ as you saw them in an old episode of ‘Dallas’ no doubt.

            Flash, babe…..life isn’t anything like you think it is.

            Rich people do what they want…whether it fits your fantasies or not.

          • Never worked for H & R Block, but I have volunteered doing income tax returns for free for low income people. Didn’t you used to live in Ottawa? I may have done your return for you at one time, as an act of charity. Imagine the irony.

          • No hon, never lived in Ottawa….and my money is handled by a management firm….not by some guy with a lawn sign.

            Now off to bed with you. You’re starting to whimper.

          • Yes, you most certainly did live in Ottawa, and you said so many times. You’ve forgotten just how much you’ve revealed here over the years.

            By the way, your case worker is employed by the Ontario government, not a “management firm”. And I am off to bed now, just as you wish. Sweet dreams. It’s been a pleasure as always.

          • Wow are YOU ever out to lunch RR….sorry, never lived in Ottawa…in fact I’ve only visited it once…..so there is nothing to ‘reveal’. LOL

            Good thing you’re off to bed….you really need the sleep!

          • Emily, being a potato yourself…….you are displaying a disturbing attitude towards the other roots and tubers.

            You’re such a vegicist.

          • Emily noted:
            “No hon, never lived in Ottawa….and my money is handled by a management firm….not by some guy with a lawn sign.”

            Sorry, Em……a sock filled with the money you’ve made hawking your possessions on Kijiji doesn’t qualify as a management firm. But just keep pretending if it makes you feel better.

        • Wow, there’s a lot of pretensions of wealth and class on EMILYONE’s part. Those of wealth and stature tend to not take to internet forums to inform others of their station in life. It happens a lot on forums; someone with a BA posts as a PhD resident expert, someone who scrapes by on a tiny pension or minimum wage will post as a retired-early jet-setter. The more frequent the posts, the more obvious the ruse.

          • Since you’re not rich you have no idea what people of wealth and class do for amusement.

          • EMILYONE – You certainly don’t know what rich people do for amusement, as those of wealth and class have other things to do to occupy their time. Those who have class are above vacuous rants on how rich or classy they are. It’s those ingrained habits that preclude them from serial (and contradictory) postings on forums. Those who brag about wealth and stature, tend to have very little of either.

            You’re certainly not rich, and I doubt you’ve taken any breaks from posting in years. Wealthy people have the freedom to travel and partake in leisure, you clearly do not.

          • I repeat….you have no idea what rich people do for amusement.

            And I’m not interested in your TV version.

          • So what you’re saying is that rich people actually spend their time sewering forums with insipid comments of how rich and classy they are? And that they don’t travel and partake in real leisure outside of an internet forum? Do you expect people here to believe that you are sitting amongst your rich friends posting on this forum?

            Lying about education, wealth, stature, etc is just sad behaviour exhibited by internet trolls. You can’t even maintain commentary without contradicting yourself. The less gullible in this forum easily pick up on traits such as this.

            Now address your contradiction that Macleans is a “working class magazine” head on, if you’re able…

          • Read my lips Loomis

            Rich people do what they feel like doing.

            Get over it.

          • Once again you refuse to address your sad contradictory statements, obviously because of the embarrassment they cause you. You’ve basically repeated the same statement three times now, one can sense the indignation and humiliation in your posts.

            You are correct in that rich people do what they want, they just tend to not post sad little rants on forums. Wealth provides freedom and means to engage in all forms of leisure. Travel, fine dining, boating, auto collections, philanthropy, etc. These are the kinds of activities you would be doing if you were actually wealthy.

            Even the poorest of the poor in Canada have internet access. I suspect you know this fact from first hand experience.

          • LOL Hit bottom eh Loomis?

            Good. Now go to bed.

          • Make that the fourth time you cowered from addressing the embarrassing contradictions in your forum posts. Intelligent people can articulate arguments and do not humiliate themselves by offering up polar opposite comments. Those are traits of someone in mental distress.

            Someone who has “hit rock bottom” is usually someone who has found themselves in financial ruin. Are you posting from a dial-up connection?

          • LOL I no longer know what you’re talking about Loomis,…..and frankly neither do you.

            However, I have work to do….it being Thursday afternoon in Beijing…so off to bed with you.


          • Ahh Emily – hinting that you’re somehow posting from Beijing in order to maintain the façade of a well-travelled and wealthy intellectual. Someone who actually travelled to Beijing and “had work to do” would have much more interesting things to do (such as actual work) instead of incessant posting on Macleans.

            You now claim to not know what I’m talking about? I’ll remind you yet again, you contradicted yourself in a humiliating fashion by referring to Macleans as a “working class magazine” in one post while saying that it is not a working class magazine in the other.

            I’ll also spell this out for you again. You are not well travelled, wealthy, or an intellectual. Your behaviour is so easy to gauge. I’ll bet a quick search of your post history will literally reveal thousands if not tens of thousands of posts of your drivel.

            I challenge you to go 24 hours without posting, I doubt you can do it.

          • EMILYONE – one last thing. Your first post was at 3:04 PM Eastern Time. Beijing is 13 hours ahead. So you started posting at 4:04 AM in Beijing? No, you didn’t. That was too easy.

            You really backed yourself into a corner now. It would be funny if it weren’t so sad…

    • Yah, any time someone points our her incessant posting, she claims she’s actually working online with people from Beijing. She’s a “global economic development analyst” don’t you know. People pay her for her opinion. :)

  3. I’ve yet to see a journo or tax expert address another issue, one that i asked K. MIlligan – no answer yet; don’t know whether to take his silence as an indication i have wrong info.[ which will come as no surprise]
    The enhanced UCCB is non refundable – always was. The problem as i see is ironically a reverse twist on the FTC . If your family income is $60000 with a 30/30 split you stand to have proportionately more of that taxed away than a family with a 60/0 split would, due to the fact the credit can be assessed to the lower spousal income – in this case the home body with zero or low income; a bit like the way a spousal RRSP works. If i am right, this is not progressive at all. The UCCB ought to be non refundable[ at least below a certain income level] the way the national Child credit is, if it is to give the biggest bang for the poor. Am i wrong? Guess there’s no point asking the finance department; least, not without a note from Harper.

    • I’ll try to answer your question, but first a couple of corrections. Bear with me, this is tedious, but tax stuff always is. First, your description of the UCCB as “non-refundable” is not correct. It is a universal benefit. It is reported as income of the T1 General, and is included with all other taxable income. Terms like ‘refundable’ or ‘non-refundable’ don’t apply to items that show up on the income portion of the return, as they would to the tax credits reported on Schedule 1.

      Second, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, which you also refer to, is also neither refundable nor non-refundable. It’s not a credit at all. It is another benefit, but in this case, it is a non-taxable benefit. It does not get counted as income and in fact is not reported on the T1 General at all. Instead, there is a special claw-back rate applied to it as your “net adjusted family income” rises .

      Now, regarding your concern about the unfair taxation of the UCCB for couples with different earning ratios. In fact, the unfairness does not occur. The reason is the effect the UCCB income has on the spousal credit of the earning spouse.

      The zero-earning spouse reports the UCCB income on his/her T1 General as taxable income, but if that’s the only income they have, they won’t pay any tax on it. On the surface that sounds unfair to the 30-30 couple, because either one of them will pay tax on that amount, at their marginal rate. Except…. the bread-winner with the 60-0 couple would also be claiming the full spousal dependant credit, since their spouse is not earning anything. However, with the $1920 ($160 x 12 assuming one child under 6) in annual UCCB, the “dependant” spouse is no longer truly at zero income. The $1920 must be subtracted from the spousal credit that the bread-winning spouse is claiming. So the spousal credit of $11,000 (equivalent to the $11,000 basic personal amount the spouse would get if he/she were working) gets reduced by $1920, and the earning spouse loses his 15% credit on that amount (plus the provincial amount for the provincial spousal credit). The net effect is that both the 30-30 couple and the 60-0 couple are facing the exact same rate of tax on that $1920 in UCCB.

      • Ah, so shorter answer, i was wrongly informed? Thank for that. I feel i ought to send you a cheque or something for all that effort. Of course you lost me two lines in, but i think i caught the gist of it. The question stayed in my mind because i did hear that complaint early on when the UCCB first came in. It does seem an obvious mistake that a govt ought to be able to avoid.
        I will say this about the Harper govt, much as i despise them for number of reasons, with the exception of this FTC[ which i think is a poor use of resources], their record on poverty alleviation is at least as good, or better, as any Liberal govt going back to Pet’s time. He of course, though controversial, genuinely did make a dent in poverty reduction in his time.

        • I could have explained it without the first 3 paragraphs, but I’m anal. The fourth paragraph is where the answer is. But yours is a common misunderstanding. I read an article about a year ago written by a professor of women’s studies in the G & M. She said the exact same thing about the UCCB – that low-income working mothers were being unfairly taxed while stay at home spouses with high-earning partners were getting it tax free. On the surface, that’s what happens. In reality, the tax is applied to the earning spouse by reducing the spousal credit by an equivalent amount.

          Now, I’m confused about how this income splitting is going to work. Had they not chickened out in the face of provincial complaining, they’d have just allowed income to be transferred from one spouse to the other, and the effect on the spousal credit would have been identical to that above. But they’ve designed some sort of “notional” credit to get around reducing taxable income to which provincial tax rates are applied, so now I don’t know if that automatic reduction to the spousal credit would work the same way apply, since it won’t be counted as “income” on the lower-earning spouse’s T1. By caving in to provincial complaints, Harper may have created an unfairness in the system. I say ‘may’ because I haven’t seen how it’s going to work yet.

        • KCM2….

          Most people hate Harper for who is IS……not what he does.

          Frankly, I don’t care if someone is “photo-genic” or has a famous dad….I’m looking for competence and ability.

          It’s just the nature of being a Conservative that people reflexively detest. They assume that Conservative means greedy capitalistic corporate crooks; when in reality, a true Conservative (such as myself) just wants the Government to leave them alone and allow them to live their lives without undue interference.

          Oh…and we don’t want them to steal our money, or tell us how to spend / earn it.

          • I don’t care what you think because clearly you don’t. All the bias toward Conservatives you accuse others of, you yourself dish out to others on a regular basis.

    • I can testify that for the last several years since retirement income could be split, I saved many thousands of dollars.

      During the 2014 tax year, without tax splitting, the 60-0 family would pay SUBSTANTIALLY more income tax than the 30-30 family!

      • Ditto for my parents, and they ain’t “rich” by any stretch. I’ve never understood the complaint that income splitting is only for the rich. The rich – I know for a fact – are already using all kinds of legal schemes to split their income, not only between spouses, but across the whole family. Kids, parents, grandparents, in-laws, even nieces and nephews. Everyone gets in on it. I see it done – legally, and then not so legally, but nearly impossible for CRA to detect. Hell, farmers pay each of their kids a salary, thus reducing their own income to the point where not only do they pay much for taxes, but they qualify for the maximum CCTB benefit for each child! It’s the middle class people working regular jobs with tax deducted at source (i.e. T4 earners) who do not have access to these types of schemes, and therefore have no opportunity to improve their tax-efficiency by distributing their limited income to other family members. This modest income splitting proposal – even if it is only for parents with kids, for now – is a start.

        • Should be “…not only do they not pay much for taxes…”

          • That’s my objection in a nutshell – the wrong people are getting the lion’s share of the kill, as the article implies. If there was a way to ensure the crowd below say $60000 were at the head of the queue i’d probably feel the changes were due. Heck i could cash in on this and as i said i choose to stay home – i don’t need it. This ought to be based on need not entitlement.

      • Be careful, PAIDION…

        Some of the folks on this site think you are a greedy bugger for getting your OWN MONEY back.

        • No, just stupid.

          • KCM2…..

            What constitutes “stupid” in your world?

            A guy who is in the position to PAY $65,000 in taxes each year, or the guy who would love to make $65,000 per year gross?

            That is not to say anyone who earns this little is “stupid”….but it does show how silly your last comment was.

  4. “And about those couples without kids, or, for that matter, taxpayers who are single: I have not heard a compelling reason why the generous suite of tax cuts announced by the Prime Minister excludes them.”

    Maybe he thinks we are all liberals?

    I have pointed this out before. I already subsidize other people’s choice to have children with my tax dollars. I believe this is a good investment, however I am at a loss to understand the value to the country to give tax breaks to the wealthy just because they have children. There are a lot of children in this country who do not grow up with the benefit of parents to support them. They could certainly use more tax dollars invested in their future.

    There is a significant unfairness to concentrate all tax breaks on families with children. While I personally will not have a problem funding my retirement, not all childless people have that luxury. They also do not have the benefit of children to assist in their care giving when they get older, and yet they are being forced to pay many of the costs of raising the children of other people.

    • …and yet they are being forced to pay many of the costs of raising the children of other people.

      And presumably those kids will have grown up and will be paying taxes to support healthcare, GIS, OAS, subsidized seniors housing & other benefits the low income elderly will certainly need. We have a huge problem in western countries – affluent people aren’t “breeding” any more. We need to figure out how to change that. France is the only western nation to succeed on that front, and they’ve done so with tax policies like income splitting, child tax deductions, etc. They also have childcare, but they’ve had that for a long time – the problem of affluent women not wanting children remained. It was only ameliorated with a bunch of family-friendly tax incentives, income splitting (not only between spouses, but spread across the whole family) being the main one.

      • Yes. Thank you for the first part of your comment. Of course, I summed it up as saying investing in other people’s children is a good investment, but maybe you missed that.

        As for the rest, I actually happen to think a child does not have to have wealthy parents in order to have value, so I reject your premise.

    • Gayle wrote:
      “I am at a loss to understand the value to the country to give tax breaks to the wealthy just because they have children”

      Well I am at a loss to understand the folks who think the Wealthy should be PUNISHED becasuse they are wealthy. Why penalize those who pay most of the bills, Gayle? I don’t think your problem is with the wealthy who have kids….as I suspect your main beef….is that you simply don’t like people who have more than you do.

      Gayle continues:
      “There is a significant unfairness to concentrate all tax breaks on families with children”

      It may seem unfair to those who have not had to raise children, Gayle, but kids are expensive. If you had any kids of your own, you would understand that.

      • Hi James. I’m actually wealthy, and I can tell you with complete confidence that I would not require subsidies to raise children. My colleagues who have children, agree.

        But way to totally ignore that whole point about financial support for children who don’t have parents. It’s like you are deliberately ignoring the point or something.

        • Gayle,

          I’m happy you are wealthy, well done. Just one more person I don’t have to support. Wish there were more of you.

          As for your collegues who have children, ask them what they feel about NATIONAL CHILDCARE. I’m sure it is a bunch of equally well-off women who like the idea of paying $7 per day for their kids daycare; while studiously ignoring the reality that is is a bunch of folks making less than $45,000 per year who will be paying for it; often without the same benefit being offered to them.

          As for supporting kids without parents…..I’m all for it. I don’t mind paying taxes, what I mind is having the money I pay in taxes being wasted on useless programs that may sound nice…but do nothing.

          Other note:
          I suspect you work in the “public service” or other sector, where you require high taxes to keep your job; and your pay and perks. Just a guess. (in Quebec maybe?)

    • Gayle1 wrote:
      “There is a significant unfairness to concentrate all tax breaks on families with children. While I personally will not have a problem funding my retirement, not all childless people have that luxury. They also do not have the benefit of children to assist in their care giving when they get older, and yet they are being forced to pay many of the costs of raising the children of other people.”

      Mr. Harper’s income-splitting plan for income-tax purposes is gradually being implemented. First it applied only to couples with retirement income. Now, it is being made available to families with children. I predict that eventually it will be applied also to couples without children.

  5. And I thought How Taxes Work was just a funny parable not based on reality:

    Every night, ten men met at a restaurant for dinner. At the end of the meal, the bill would arrive. They owed $100 for the food that they shared. Every night they lined up in the same order at the cash register. The first four men paid nothing at all. The fifth, though he grumbled about the unfairness of the situation, paid $1. The sixth man, feeling generous, paid $3. The next three men paid $7, $12, and $18, respectively. The last man was required to pay the remaining balance of $59.

    The ten men were quite settled into their routine when the restaurant threw them into chaos. It announced that it was cutting its prices: Now it would charge only $80 for dinner for the ten men. This reduction wouldn’t affect the first four men — they would continue to eat for free. The fifth person decided to forgo his $1 contribution to the pool, and the sixth contributed $2. The seventh man deducted $2 from his usual payment and now paid $5. The eighth man paid $9, the ninth, $12, leaving the last man with a bill of $52. Outside of the restaurant, the men compared their savings, and angry outbursts began to erupt. The sixth man yelled, “I got only $1 out of the total reduction of $20, and he” — pointing to the last man — “got $7.” The fifth man joined in the protest. “Yeah! I got only $1 too. It is unfair that he got seven times more than me.” The seventh man cried, “Why should he get a $7 reduction when I got only $2?” The first four men followed the lead of the others: “We didn’t get any of the $20 reduction. Where is our share?” The nine men formed an outraged mob, surrounding the tenth man…

    • Cool! Totally fabricating a false situation to make a non existent point.

      ha ha ha ha ha

  6. Let’s call this what it is…”The tax cuts for rich stay at home moms so future governments are forced to cut other program spending for constituencies that will never vote for us anyway package.” It’s certainly no family tax package.

    It’s cynicism at its worst. It’s insulting to citizens and it represents one more example of why this lousy Harper government will go down as this country’s worst ever. Maybe only the Devine conservatives in Saskatchewan could top them. Maybe.

    • You do realize that this is simply money the government will not take away from those who earned it right?

      While I’m sure you don’t pay taxes yourself…….you shouldn’t begrudge those who pay your rent, utilities, and your “medical marijuana” bill for you.

      Just say thanks…..and move along.

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