Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Opinion
Classified Sites

Brandon Sun - PRINT EDITION

Scrap the income-split proposal

The Harper government is backing away from its 2011 election promise to provide tax relief for middle-class families through income splitting, which was to be introduced when the budget was balanced.

Now, however, a year before the balance sheet is scheduled to be out of the red, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is saying income splitting is not such a good idea after all.

He says it would benefit higher-income families, while offering little support for the vast majority of Canadians.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who has been dangling the plan in front of Canadians for the last three years, is also having second thoughts. He says the government only ever promised to provide tax relief once the budget was balanced.

Of course, that’s not true, but he clearly wants more flexibility in deciding how to divvy up the surplus.

Since 2011, when income splitting was first announced, a series of reports have explained it wouldn’t help most Canadians, while providing generous tax relief for higher-income Canadians and for families with stay-at-home moms or dads.

Conservatives may have thought income-splitting would appeal to its base — which it undoubtedly does — but it also carries the risk of alienating the large number of voters who would be left out.

Under the plan, married couples with children under 18 would be able to split up to $50,000 of income with their partner, allowing the higher-income partner to lower his or her taxes by shifting income to the lower-paid spouse. The problem is 61 per cent of the benefits would be earned by the richest third of Canadians who make more than $100,000, while the poorest quarter of Canadians would see an average of $20 a year in tax relief.

Whatever the motivation, the Harper government should cancel its income-splitting scheme and develop a new plan on how to spend the anticipated surplus.

» This editorial recently ran in the Winnipeg Free Press.

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 18, 2014

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

The Harper government is backing away from its 2011 election promise to provide tax relief for middle-class families through income splitting, which was to be introduced when the budget was balanced.

Now, however, a year before the balance sheet is scheduled to be out of the red, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is saying income splitting is not such a good idea after all.

Please subscribe to view full article.

Already subscribed? Login to view full article.

Not yet a subscriber? Click here to sign up

The Harper government is backing away from its 2011 election promise to provide tax relief for middle-class families through income splitting, which was to be introduced when the budget was balanced.

Now, however, a year before the balance sheet is scheduled to be out of the red, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is saying income splitting is not such a good idea after all.

Subscription required to view full article.

A subscription to the Brandon Sun Newspaper is required to view this article. Please update your user information if you are already a newspaper subscriber.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
The First World War at 100

Social Media