The West wants in.

CBC News – John Gray:

the Harper government is promising to pay parents $1,200 a year fore very child under six. The parents could spend the money as they wish, but the government describes it as a plan for child care.

One of the problems with $1,200 a year is it does not even come closet o covering the cost of private or public care. You might just as well, as a Liberal spokesman said, spend it on beer and popcorn.

More importantly, $1,200 is not really $1,200 because the money is taxable. Thus income-tested benefits would decrease and taxes would increase. The only families to get the full $1,200 would be the very poorest, with little or no income.

The Child Care Advocacy Association calculates that when decreased benefits and increased taxes are calculated, a two-earner family with two children, with a family income of $30,000, would get just $460 perchild of that $1,200; a family with an income of $40,000 would get $671 per child, and one with $50,000 would get $827 per child.

The Caledon Institute of Social Policy says the Harper plan is unfair because it pays less to poor and modest income families and more to middle- and upper-income families. And the plan would do “little if anything to increase the supply of affordable, quality child care,” the institute says.


And other provincial governments have already started squawking at the thought of a special deal for Quebec on child care. The premiers have already held a conference call to discuss a united front against Harper, to address the threat of cuts in child-care funding.

5 thoughts on “The West wants in.

  1. The conservatives are such idiots when it comes to social programs. Why do they even bother? Have they even thought of appointing someone who has the brains to deal with social programs?

  2. I’m glad to get any money I can from the conservative government, but calling this a childcare plan is mental. In-home childcare is the cheapest option in Ontario, and it starts at 600 bucks a month. On the other hand 600-1200 bucks does buy a lot of beer and popcorn. They should just call this a baby bonus and figure out childcare separately. I would love to see fully subsidized daycare, at least for low income earners and single parent families. Will the Conservatives help that happen? I doubt it.

    I am lucky: I can afford good daycare for my daughter. I would gladly sacrifice my few hundred bucks a month from the Conservatives to give it to someone who can’t afford daycare at all. Their ridiculous “child-care” plan is a faulty band-aid PR solution that plays to the greedy affluent people who vote based on tax breaks and the bottom line. At least I can honestly say I didn’t vote these guys in.

    The fact of the matter is, well-to-do families don’t need childcare supplements. They have planned for the cost of childcare, and they can afford it. They will pay for childcare whether they get money from the government or not. Giving them extra cash is just a way for the Conservative government to score brownie points with them. The people who are suffering are low-income families, single parent families, students and the unemployed. If you can’t afford daycare, you can’t work. If you aren’t working, you can’t afford daycare. The cycle of poverty continues. But why would the Conservatives care about that?

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