Conservative platform slowly emerging

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Stephen Harper is _finally_ starting to leak details of his party’s near-fictional campaign platform. He has been criticized by other parties repeatedly for not having released a platform. Considering we now have only a week until voting day, I am dumbfounded he hasn’t released anything yet. Supposedly he is releasing something tomorrow. Apparently, he thinks it’s going to be so amazing that all he needs is seven days for the public to peruse it.

Anyhow, the Globe and Mail has reported on a couple of points from the platform based on what Harper said earlier today. For example:

He was in Nepean, outside Ottawa, announcing a plan to index the Universal Child Care Benefit payout to inflation, meaning it would rise each year to match increases in the prices of key goods in the economy.

The plan would only add an estimate two or three dollars to the $100 monthly cheque that Canadian parents of children under six currently receive.

He also vowed to make the benefit tax-free for single parents who are the sole supporters of their children.

Just single parents? How about single income families?

It’s not fair my taxable income the amount of tax I pay has gone up because Mary’s personal exemption amount went down. I didn’t ask for the UCCB, and especially didn’t ask for it to be taxable. If it hadn’t been for the RRSPs I took out last year, the effects the UCCB had on my 2007 taxable income would have bumped me into the next highest tax bracket.

I am tired of this government taxing me to death and giving me insignificant, token tax credits/breaks.

29 thoughts on “Conservative platform slowly emerging

  1. Ya lets complain about a dollar because it cost us thirty cents.

    By the way the UCCB was taxable in your wifes hands not yours therefore it couldn’t have “bumped” you into the next tax bracket.

    I find it oxymoronic that you talk about wanting increased benefits with less taxation in the same post.

  2. I never said I wanted UCCB. Get rid of it for all I care. I think it’s pointless.

    I didn’t say the UCCB was taxable to me. I said it raised my taxable income by reducing my spousal exemption amount. As such that dollar costs more than thirty cents for our household income.

  3. I would be careful arguing taxation with a Chartered Accountant if I were you.

    As far as the government is concerned Mary’s taxable income is hers and yours is yours. There is no pooling of taxable income so I am not sure how her UCCB is raising your taxable income. Yes I agree that it lowers your non deductible tax credits but it has nothing to do with your taxable income, and therefore what bracket you pay tax in.

    I am more interested in how you feel the other platforms are going to help this ailing economy? I can’t see anything about increasing the taxation of “Corporations” as Jack suggests that would be good for this country, especially if we are entering recession. I am also dumbfounded by the $55 Billion of spending proposed by the Liberals. This is pandering by politions that know they will never have to own up to their election promises.

  4. I’m not arguing taxation. You are. I am arguing against the words you were putting in my mouth.

    Since we have a CA here, maybe we can get some clarification. Here is my understanding:

    1. Tax credits reduce taxable income.
    2. Spousal exemption is a functional tax credit.
    3. Spousal exemption thus reduces taxable income.
    4. A decrease in the spousal exemption lowers that reduction
    5. This is an increase in that my taxable income is not lowered as much as it was with the full spousal amount.

    Am I wrong with any of this?

    My understanding is that Jack Layton isn’t increasing taxation of oil and gas corporations, but eliminating promised tax cuts that have yet to take place.

    My comments on Dion’s plan.

  5. Your assumption in #1 is incorrect. Tax credits do not reduce taxable income. Tax on taxable income is calculated and tax credits reduce the amount of tax due. Therefore no matter what your taxable income bracket is the credits that are transferred to you from your wife are only worth 25% period. The amount of tax credit you receive from your wife is definately lowered but your taxable income is not in anyway affected by the spousal transfer.

  6. So, just to clarify, the reduction in Mary’s spousal exemption in no way whatsoever affects how much tax I pay? That I would pay the same amount of tax whether the spousal exemption amount was $9,600 or $0?

  7. Now you are putting words into my mouth. I believe what I said was.

    As far as the government is concerned Mary’s taxable income is hers and yours is yours. There is no pooling of taxable income so I am not sure how her UCCB is raising your taxable income. Yes I agree that it lowers your non deductible tax credits but it has nothing to do with your taxable income, and therefore what bracket you pay tax in.

    and I also said

    Tax on taxable income is calculated and tax credits reduce the amount of tax due. Therefore no matter what your taxable income bracket is the credits that are transferred to you from your wife are only worth 25% period. The amount of tax credit you receive from your wife is definately lowered but your taxable income is not in anyway affected by the spousal transfer.

    Interesting that you are not “arguing” taxation with me but we are still dancing.

  8. I’m not putting words on your mouth. I am asking you to clarify how I am interpreting what you are saying.

    Again, to clarify, since your quoting yourself didn’t clarify anything, does the spousal exemption amount affect how much tax I pay?

  9. I am not so concerned about me, or our taxable income. My concern with the UCCB is that it is not beneficial to those who really need it. Harper scrapped the original Liberal plan (more day care spaces and funding) for this plan which was very detrimental for those who truly needed it. The single mothers who have no choice but to go out to work and who have difficulty in finding childcare spaces and less money to pay for it. For myself, it makes little difference (just a tad annoying is all) because I have the blessing of being able to stay home with my children (and only teach nutrition classes in the evening so I can pay for my schooling). It’s those who really are in need of more support who have had it taken away. Oh, and once their children turn 6, they have it completely eliminated.

  10. Tyler,

    I had some time to read through your comments above more thoroughly. Let me know if I understand what you’re saying by adjusting my 5 points of understanding from a previous comment.

    1. Tax credits reduce taxes paid.
    2. Spousal exemption is a functional tax credit.
    3. Spousal exemption thus reduces how much tax I pay.
    4. A decrease in the spousal exemption lowers that reduction
    5. This is an increase in that the amount of taxes I pay is not lowered as much as it was with the full spousal amount.

    Is this correct?

    I hope so; I modified my post to reflect this.

  11. Yes you are correct.

    So I am not convinced that the previous program was working either. Is there a suggestion that would work?

  12. The one that Mary was suggesting in her post, the more daycare spending and funding programme. I really do feel that it takes more money to have government involved in providing programs than the actual programme is worth, I know $100 per month per child won’t cover the childs daycare but it gets more money into the system than government sponsered daycares do. It is also undiscriminating which is nice to finally have single income families benefit the same as double income families do.

  13. Well, the previous programme wasn’t working because it hadn’t been implemented yet. My understanding was that Martin had simply announced funding for creating childcare spaces, but that no child care spaces had been created before parliament was dissolved.

    The problem with the Harper solution (taxes aside) is that it does nothing to create childcare spaces. What’s the point in giving a single mum money for daycare (as little as it is) if there are no spaces for her children?

  14. Fair assessment. Wouldn’t the supply increase if there were more demand? If not where are the Liberals going to find the space?

  15. One would think more demand would increase supply. I guess the question is whether $100/month creates demand. With the daycare charges I’ve seen, I don’t think it would create demand.

    I assume the Liberals were going to create space through incentives for daycare providers.

  16. According to a friend, it has definitely increased demand, which was already high, which is why she’s branching out and opening her own daycare rather than simply working at one. Lots of NEW spaces as a result.

    But I think that’s really beside the point. Whether or not the UCCB meets everyone’s wants or needs to lesser or greater degrees, it’s FAIR. That was unbelievably refreshing. The fact that it becomes taxable to a certain degree just means that it’s worth more to those that need it more. So what’s the complaint?

  17. A thought about the plan it replaced: the previous government and all parties except the Cons. were moving towards publicly funded, national daycare. If you think the cost of having someone else watch a child is a lot now, it would have rapidly ballooned under public funding. Sure, the rates might not have changed much, or even gone down, but the total cost to taxpayers, whether or not they used the system would have been prohibitive in the extreme. And eventually Canadians would be bleating and bragging about having “free daycare” and thinking it was one more way they were better than other countries. Just one more way we would be in ever increasing bondage to the giant, inefficient beauraucracy so many of us inexplicably crave.

  18. which is why she’s branching out and opening her own daycare rather than simply working at one

    Really? And does she charge $100/month/child under 6?

    Lots of NEW spaces as a result.

    Lots? How big of a place does she have?

    If you think the cost of having someone else watch a child is a lot now, it would have rapidly ballooned under public funding.

    Why?

  19. Wow. My messages were removed. Ouch.

    My first thought, perhaps paranoia, is that the person who removed them has no interest in being loyal to the truth.

    Particularly since there was no rebuttal. It appears, perhaps incorrectly, like censorship.

    However, for the sake of interest in the truth, I’d be interested in knowing who removed them and why they were removed, assuming that there might actually be a good reason for removing them, as opposed to there being an inability to refute the argument.

    Now, of course, if this message is not responded to, or it is removed, that will speak volumes about the motives of those who run this avenue of expression, whether that appears like an insult or not.

    What happened to seeking “knowledge” or was that not a genuine statement? Somebody’s wife is certainly convinced that her husbands motives are not bad. I’d be interested is seeing him expain it now.

    There weren’t any bad words. No sexual comments. No references to violence. No abuse of the language whatsoever. He-he.

    Just call me “cynically removed.” You likely don’t want me here anymore because I provide information that hurts your agenda.

    Is this the spin zone where if you don’t agree you aren’t welcomed?

  20. Incidentally, Harper’s economic plan was revealed in his previous term of government. It’s not like he needs to change anything.

    He could change it if he wanted to, either to gain more votes or to update it. But there was nothing necessarily new to introduce. He decided to run again to get a fresh new mandate on his previous plans, which the Liberals and NDP have been fighting him on from the beginning.

    Canadian voters are free to reject giving him that fresh new mandate if they dislike his already established and previously revealed economic platform. Or, if they are frustrated with the infighting by opposing parties (our parliamentary system of government enjoys an adversarial form of government – jurisprudence 101), they can give Harper a majority and he can fulfill all his previously laid out economic promises with hinderance.

    It’s really that simple.

    The complication comes with trying to anticipate how other Canadians will vote so that you can hinder or improve Harper’s chances of being re-elected.

  21. If you don’t like Harper, vote against him. But it’s silly to pretend to seek answers if you’re not interested in answers you disagree with.

  22. I am fairly sure that the Harper government never indicated that $100/month was supposed to cover the costs of daycare, just supplement them. You assume the Liberal government is doing more but in reality no more money was spent by the Liberal government on daycare so my question is if 5 billion Liberal equals more than 5 billion Conservative dollars.

  23. Re: #20

    Two things.

    1. What on earth are you going on about? No one deleted any of your messages.
    2. You may want to re-read the comment policy. Further thread jacking could result in your messages being moderated or deleted. By all means, we encourage dialogue here, but this is not a democracy and you have no rights. We reserve the right to edit/moderate/delete an message.
  24. Tyler,

    Of course the Liberals didn’t spend any money on their proposal; they got elected out of power before the could do anything.

    What have I said that gives you the impression I assume the Liberals are doing more?

  25. To give some explanation why childcare costs could “balloon” under national, public provision.

    • there would immediately need to be a government resource infrastructure to administer the program. ANY projection saying that it would be an inexpensive admin structure should use the gun registry as an example of how that works. (and there are a lot more kids in childcare than there are guns)

    • With increased regulation would come increased licensing, training and accreditation issues. Not necessarily a bad thing from a quality-of-care standpoint, but costly.

    • This would now become BIG business with a lot of money flowing through. I honestly don’t think it would be very long before there would be a giant union for public daycare workers. Wages would increase dramatically. (and likely out of all proportion to the work being done. The CAW, for example, has negotiated its members right out of their jobs by increasing production costs to the point that the companies they work for are no longer competetive and can’t afford to employ as many people. All because the union couldn’t figure out that a menial, anybody-can-do-it assembly line job wasn’t worth $90K a year)

    • MANY people who are exercising other options that don’t use any tax dollars would start using the public system.

    All of this amounts to grossly unfair tax penalties on those who choose something else, and especially on those who make enough money to get walloped with tax levels that already border on the opressive.

  26. As far as the other two questions, I believe another poster addressed the fact that the $100 is simply a supplement.

    However, more providers (supply) in relation to the demand should create a downward pressure on cost.

    And of course what I provided was an individual example. I really didn’t think I needed to get explicit about the fact that this example can be representative of a trend that has resulted at least in part from the extra child care dollars available.

  27. To give some explanation why childcare costs could “balloon” under national, public provision.

    My mistake. I had assumed you were referring to direct cost to the consumer. I can see how a federally-run programme could be more expensive than a private solution.

    I honestly don’t think it would be very long before there would be a giant union for public daycare workers.

    Which, however, is a slippery slope. I would be interested in facts that quantify this point.

    I really didn’t think I needed to get explicit about the fact that this example can be representative of a trend that has resulted at least in part from the extra child care dollars available.

    And just to be fair, your example can representative of nothing. After all, a single anecdote is statistically insignificant.

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