Re: Yukon government mum about lost child tax benefit (The News, July 31)
Pierre Chauvin’s article did more to expose his political bias than it did to provide a fair and balanced perspective on the federal government’s Universal Child Care Benefit and the Yukon government’s changes to its child and family programs. Moreover, his inclusion of Kyle Carruthers’ phoney new math on this same topic only exposed him as one of Carruthers’ disciples and a compatriot Liberal-socialist toady.
Carruthers’ numbers were selective. Rather than present a balanced picture, his purpose seems to be to discredit the child benefit program as virtually worthless to recipients, therefore being nothing more than sleight of hand to further a cynical Conservative plan to buy votes.
Who could possibly benefit from presenting this view? The Liberals and the NDP, of course. When I met a man at McDonald’s who quoted Carruthers’ figure of $14.23/year to me as the true value of the program, I knew I had to respond.
Carruthers based his figures on a $50,000 net taxable income, assuming this to be the average income in Yukon. If it is, I guess I have been shortchanged, for I have never earned a net taxable income anywhere close to that, and my guess is that is more representative of the majority of Yukoners than Carruthers’ figure.
Minimum wage earners, poverty line families, welfare recipients, and various other family people who earn much less will consequently net more from the child benefit payments than Carruthers calculated for his 50K people.
Many people who pay little or no tax at all got nothing from the child tax credit, yet Carruthers assumed the eliminated credit as “lost income” when it was nothing of the kind. Then he deducted that theoretical “lost income” from the benefit. But for those who could never use the old tax credit, the value of the new benefit remains the full amount of $1,920 (or the full amount of the $720 increase).
Carruthers made the child benefit appear worth less than it actually is by only addressing the increase of $720 rather than the whole benefit of $1,920. He also forgot to emphasize that the benefit is cash, not some deduction from tax, and as such is worth a great deal more (and even more yet if some of it is invested).
Carruthers also inappropriately linked the loss of the territorial child tax credit to the federal child benefit. What the territories and provinces do is outside of Ottawa’s jurisdiction and should not be part of any calculation to determine the value of the federal payments.
Linking the two and deducting the lost territorial credit from the federal child benefit was deceptive. Does Carruthers say his pay cheque is worth less because he has to pay rent and groceries? No, his pay cheque is what it is. Neither should he say the federal benefit is worth less because of what another jurisdiction does.
Perhaps the News might consider engaging a non-biased accountant or financial planner to provide us with the full story on the federal and territorial government’s family programs, politics aside.
Meantime, how about correcting the false impressions your writers have created by running a banner front page headline – something like, “Family benefit cheques rise to $1,920 annually,” accompanied by a few complimentary words on what I believe is perhaps the greatest family benefit program the government has ever produced.