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

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

Heavy flows of water pooled on Davis Road after a lead to a fire hydrant burst on Thursday Jan. 21. (Jim Tredwell photo)
Fire hydrant connection burst at Davis Road and Battie Drive

Crews worked well into the night on Thursday Jan. 21 to staunch the flow of water

A pedestrian was transported to hospital after being struck while crossing Roberts Street. (Cole Schisler photo)
Pedestrian struck crossing Roberts Street

The driver remained on scene and is cooperating with police

Emergency crews were called to a semi-truck crash along the Trans-Canada Highway at Oyster Sto’Lo Road on Friday, Jan. 22. (Cole Schisler/Black Press)
Semi truck crashes off the side of the highway in Ladysmith

Driver taken to hospital as precaution after single-vehicle crash Friday

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Vancouver Island public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Another staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at Nanaimo care home

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence employee is isolating, says Island Health

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

Most Read