Are you a wealthy man?
Does your wife earn significantly less than you do — or nothing at all?
Do you worry how you’re going to make ends meet on only $200,000 per year?
Worry no longer, man. The Conservatives have heard you. Help is on the way.
It’s called income splitting (or “the family tax cut,” as the Conservatives want you to think about it). It works by letting higher-earning spouses shift up to $50,000 of their income to a lower-earning spouse as a way of lowering the taxes they pay (with a benefit cap of $2,000).
Stephen Harper says this is one way he’s working to help “hard-working Canadian families make ends meet.”
The problem is an ever growing number of economists and tax experts are stepping forward with hard numbers that show the $12.650 billion scheme disproportionately benefits high-income earners representing a very small percentage of all Canadian families.
Or, as law professor Kathleen Lahey, a tax law specialist at Queen’s University, puts it, the scheme is “designed in such a way that guarantees it will only make a difference to the richest Canadians.”
Overall, the majority of families with children under 18 (54.1%) — the target of the scheme — will get zero benefit. That’s because they’re either single parents or both parents are in the same tax bracket.