Here’s some money

Aaron Holmes

Tuesday, August 4 2015

Canadian Government bribes parents to boost Conservative Party election chances, but will reclaim most of that money at tax time. To be fair, this might not be exactly what’s happening, and ascribing motives to actions is hard for outsiders, however the changes in the Universal Child Care Benefit sure look slimy from the sidelines.

Let’s break it down: Employment Minister Pollievre announces $3 Billion in cash to parents, shortly before a federal election, while wearing a Conservative party shirt.

The corresponding child tax credit is eliminated, and these (taxable) UCCB payments will be mostly reclaimed by Revenue Canada come tax time, conveniently after the election. Some of this money will undoubtedly find its way into the Canadian economy, providing an economic boost in the run-up to the election. Strong economies tend to improve the results of the party in power in elections. Our memories are short.

It’s hard to tell which aspect of this is more reprehensible: the Santa give-now, Scrooge take-back-later “gift”, the convenient timing relative to the election, or the blatantly selfish misuse of public confidence that this represents.

Whichever way you slice it, it doesn’t pass the sniff test.

So the practical warning here is: don’t spend your UCCB payment blindly. Know that you’ll have to give two-thirds to three-quarters of it back to the government in taxes.

Also, if you don’t like it when politicians try to manipulate you for partisan gain, you may wish to take that into account come election time.