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

Rio Tinto responds to U.S. aluminum import tariffs

The tariffs were imposed by President Donald Trump Aug. 6

Black bear spotted at Christy Park in Terrace

Bear could be the same individual spotted on the bench recently

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Signs of the times: Terrace sign makers’ businesses evolve during COVID-19 pandemic

Scaife Signs and Silvertip Promotions & Signs Inc. created COVID-19 related materials in Terrace

New statue placed at George Little Park in Terrace

Kermode bear cub to commemorate Terrace Kinsmen’s contribution to the park’s renovations

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read