income splitting

Flaherty’s doubts about income splitting are one step to addressing inequality

This week has been a watershed moment in the battle against income inequality in Canada.

The curious twist is that it was comments made by Jim Flaherty – who, as Finance Minister, has actually exacerbated income inequality – that illuminate a fundamental shift in Canada’s political imagination.

Sometimes, the world works in mysterious ways.

A lot of ink has already been spilled about Mr. Flaherty’s unexpected decision to publicly repudiate family income splitting, the day after tabling a budget that set up the Conservative government to deliver on precisely this tax...

Income splitting: so divisive it's splitting the Tories

Discouraging women from working outside the home is surely not an appropriate goal for tax policy. But that may just be the motivation behind the Harper government's plan to introduce "income splitting" for families — an expensive tax gift to traditional families with one breadwinner and a stay at home spouse.

The gift is already proving costly to Conservative party unity. The Harper government's own finance minister is speaking out against the...

The unbalanced Harper budget

Presumably, Jim Flaherty considered the same economic picture of the country as the rest of us when planning the 2014 budget.

That picture is not rosy.

Almost one and half million Canadians are currently out of work. The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high at 7% and the employment rate (the proportion of the working age population with a job) has yet to recover since the great recession. For youth, the unemployment rate is almost double that, at 13.9%.

Add to that the growing proportion of precarious, part-time jobs, record-high levels of household debt, and...

How a tax change would help voters that Conservatives want

Joe Friesen / Globe & Mail

When Jim Flaherty introduces his budget next week, he may trumpet a long-promised policy that would allow parents with children at home to split their income to reduce the amount of tax they pay.

Income splitting is a tax policy that would allow a higher-earning person to assign some of his or her income to a spouse, effectively lowering what tax...

Broadbent Institute launches campaign against costly, unfair income splitting plan

OTTAWA—As the Conservative government prepares to introduce a Mad Men-style tax giveaway after the federal budget is balanced, the Broadbent Institute today launched an information campaign against the proposed $3 billion handout for Canada’s wealthiest families.

"It’s absurd that the Conservatives plan to take a $3 billion surplus and spend it on a tax giveaway to high-income families — it’s as though the government is trying to recreate a society straight out of an episode of Mad Men," said Executive Director Rick Smith. "Today we are taking the first...

Income splitting a tax gift for the affluent

Click here to visit the Mad Men tax giveaway campaign page.

From deepening income inequality to rising unemployment, Canada faces a wide range of pressing economic challenges that ought to be addressed in next week’s federal budget. Yet little is expected in the way of, for instance, sorely needed measures to address our jobs crisis. Instead, the Conservative government is focused on


Canada needs sound fiscal thinking, not balanced budget laws

In last year’s Speech from the Throne, the Harper government promised to introduce legislation to require “balanced budgets during normal economic times, and concrete time lines for return to balance in the event of an economic crisis.”

This proposed legislation makes little sense in terms of sound economic policy. But it will likely be introduced as part of the federal budget, expected early next month.

As Christopher Ragan argued...

As job crisis deepens, a do-nothing budget looms large

The job numbers for the end of 2013 could not have been much worse than this. But don't expect the Harper Conservatives to do anything about it in a February federal Budget which will be all about 2015 pre-election politics.

In December, the Canadian economy lost 60,000 full-time jobs, and the national unemployment rate rose sharply from 6.9 per cent to 7.2 per cent. The youth unemployment rate jumped from 13.4 per cent to 14 per cent.


Costly and unfair: Stephen Harper's income-splitting scheme

During the last federal election, Stephen Harper promised that his Conservative government would introduce a new way to tax families with children after balancing the federal budget.

We are likely to hear a lot more about the merits of Harper's 'income-splitting' proposal before the 2015 election. The Conservatives continue to slash spending and erode public services precisely in order to create the fiscal room for this promised tax cut. Never mind that Mr. Harper’s aggressive agenda of tax cuts has already...


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