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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Child Tax Deception: the Proposed Child Tax Deduction

Public Policy Paper by Ken Battle

Ken Battle considers the federal Conservative Party’s child tax deduction proposal to be “retrograde and regressive.” The author contends the Party’ idea is resurrected from the graveyard of Canadian public policy and will seriously undermine the National Child Tax Benefit, which Battle considers one of the rare bright spots in Canadian social policy. The author asserts the Child Tax Benefit is a powerful weapon in the efforts to alleviate child poverty.

Battle identifies four problems with the proposed child tax deduction: 1) it would dis-integrate the new system of integrated, geared-to-income child benefits the federal, provincial and territorial governments have created to reduce child poverty and help families move from welfare to work; 2) it would divert scarce public money to wealthy families to the detriment of low- and modest-income families; 3) it would reintroduce “horizontal inequity” because some two-earner families and one-income families with the same incomes would receive different benefits; 4) it would be a clumsy and costly federal intrusion into provincial and territorial fiscal and social policy, imposing revenue losses and spending increases on them.

In contrast, Battle asserts the Canada Child Tax Benefit treats all families with equal incomes equally. According to the author, the federal government, regardless of which party is in power, needs to grow the Child Tax Benefit into a strong income security program for families with children. This benefit is effective in assisting with poverty reduction; however, in the author’s view, boosting the maximum payment to $4,500 would greatly strengthen the Canada Child Tax Benefit’s poverty reduction capacity. Battle calls the Conservative Party’s child tax deduction an “everything old-is-new again” nonsensical scheme.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Ken Battle;
Publisher: Caledon Institute of Public Policy [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2004; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: National; Provincial;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Reform
Policy Articles / Children & Family / Standard of Living / 2004
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary / Reform / 2004
Policy Articles / Children & Family
Policy Articles / Fiscal & Budgetary
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty
Policy Articles / Welfare & Social Issues / Poverty / 2004

Keywords / Tags:

Conservative Party child tax deduction proposal; child tax deduction proposal; Canada Child Tax Benefit; National Child Tax Benefit; Canadian social policy; poverty reduction; horizontal inequity; federal fiscal and social policy; provincial fiscal and social policy; territorial fiscal and social policy; revenue losses; federal government; income security programs;