Children play at a Vancouver daycare centre, Sept. 5, 2019. (B.C. government)

LETTER: Middle class better off with Trudeau’s child benefit boost

It’s a transfer, not a tax cut, but it helps families get ahead

Re: Did Trudeau really cut middle-class taxes? (Black Press Election 2019 series, Oct. 17)

While the overall message of the article provides a broad-strokes description of the major parties’ tax policies, Tom Fletcher cites a Fraser Institute report that found the Liberals’ tax changes caused 80 per cent of middle-class families to pay more taxes.

To generate this estimate, the authors of the report considered the net impact of a portfolio of Liberal tax changes. They looked at the middle-income rate reduction, the introduction of a new high income tax bracket, the elimination of income splitting, and the elimination of four different tax credits targeting families with children.

They chose to exclude from their analysis the replacement of the Canada Child Tax Benefit with the Canada Child Benefit, their reasoning being that this program is a transfer and not part of the income tax system and is therefore outside the scope of the study. Their report is on tax changes and tax changes alone. As such they found that the average middle-class family with a household income between $77,089 and $107,624 paid $644 more tax per year as a result of the Liberal tax changes.

RELATED: Canada Child Benefit misses some families on reserves

RELATED: B.C. expanded child care tax credit takes effect in 2020

The exclusion of the CCB means that the authors potentially did not account for as much as $3,796 in benefits for the class of family that is the subject of their study. Considering the full range of incomes identified in the study as “middle-class,” for a family with one child the analysis excluded benefits ranging from $1,782 to $3,796 per year.

Given these numbers, I find it unlikely that any middle-class parents found themselves poorer because of the Liberals’ tax policies, no matter how accurate the Fraser Institute’s estimation of an average annual net tax increase of $644 is. Further to that, the Department of Finance estimates that the CCB has lifted 300,000 children out of poverty in 2018, which might be the most positive news I have heard about our country for a long time.

Focusing exclusively on taxation the way the authors of the Fraser Institute’s report have done might provide us with accurate figures within the context of their narrow methodology, but ultimately misses the bigger, and in my opinion, more relevant picture.

Ian Benoit, Port Alberni

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky Nimpkish ferry sailing

The ferry docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Heiltsuk Nation calls probe into arrest of Indigenous man at bank ‘woefully inadequate’

Maxwell Johnson and his 12-year-old granddaughter had been at a Bank of Montreal branch in Vancouver on Dec. 20

Indigenous athletes invited to apply for Team BC

The Games will be the largest multi-sport event ever held in Halifax

WATCH: Powerlifting Competition returns to Williams Lake for the first time in decades

Nine competitors took part in the Cariboo Classic Amateur Powerlifting Competition

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read