Bias against families in Act needs fixing

Bravo to the federal Conservative government who in 2007 allowed seniors to split up to 50 per cent of pension income with their spouse.
It’s been the first move since the introduction of income tax in 1917 to stop penalizing a family unit.
But there’s more work that can be done on that front.  Next the government needs to introduce changes to stop penalizing families who choose to have a stay-at-home parent.
Today two families each earning a net income of $80,000, with everything else being equal, will pay higher or lower taxes depending on whether both work or one is a stay-at-home parent.
Which household loses under the current legislation?  If your guess is the family with the stay-at-home parent, you’re right.  One person earning a net income of $80,000 pays $14,610 in taxes; two people with a net income of $40,000 together pay just $12,000.
The solution is simple and fair– spouses should be allowed to split up to 50 per cent of their employment income. The Income Tax Act should treat a family as a family, not as individuals.
With its majority and its propensity to use 800-page omnibus budgets, a change could easily be slipped through.
To date, the Conservative Government has been weak in fulfilling its “family agenda”.  On the rights of the unborn, the Prime Minister and Cabinet totally dropped the ball and raced into the arms of the Liberals and NDs.
But one must be realistic.  It is a truism that during a political campaign we all fall victim to political parties that say, “they believe what we do”, yet once elected become just like their predecessors.
It seems to take a very short period of time for politicians to set aside their deep-seeded convictions that led them into politics in the first place.  The focus instead switches quickly to winning the next election and keeping their great benefits.
Yet we can always hope the Conservatives will at least take the opportunity to make more changes to the Income Tax Act and remove its long-standing bias against families.

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