More fair support for middle class

To the Editor:

Canadians don’t have to settle for the Conservative government’s family policies that give the most money to those who need it the least. The Liberal Party has a better plan, one that is focused on the middle class.

Recently Conservative MP Garry Breitkreuz has been heavily promoting the government’s plan. Its cornerstone is “income splitting”, which gives a $2000 tax break to those making a quarter of a million dollars, but nothing to a single mom. It helps fewer than 15 per cent of Canadian households, and for those few, the biggest gains go to the wealthiest.

At a cost of $2 billion a year, income splitting uses an awful lot of money to help a small and select group. No wonder the late Jim Flaherty, while he was Finance Minister, said “I’m not sure that overall it benefits our society”.

The second plank of the Conservative plan takes an identical “cookie cutter” approach to everyone. It provides the exact same limited benefit to the wealthiest as to the working poor.

Only the Liberal Party has a plan for more fair, generous support for middle class families and all those working so hard to get there.

We will roll together the current jumble of child benefit programs, top them up with money saved from reducing government waste, and target the benefits to lower and middle income families. A new “Canada Child Benefit” (CCB) will provide a lot more help, to nine out of ten families.

The CCB will provide up to $553 monthly for each child under six and $450 for each child over six, indexed to inflation and completely tax-free. The benefit gradually declines for those with higher incomes.

A family with one child under six and a household income of $90,000 would receive $3,245 each year, over 50 per cent more than they do today.

A Liberal government will give a tax cut to the middle class and provide middle class families with more support. Our plan will create economic growth and put more money in the pockets of those who need it most. That’s real change.

Kevin Lamoureux, MP
Liberal Party of Canada Deputy House Leader

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