I’m reading our local newspaper this morning, digging to find reaction to the federal Conservative government’s new budget and the first non-politician quote I come across is from a stay-at-home dad.
Reymond Page, a stay-at-home dad in Winnipeg, says he would have preferred to see the money spent on health care, education and infrastructure improvements, something he sees directly impacting his family.
â€œIs this a short-term thing thatâ€™s supposed to fire up voters because the Conservatives are throwing money at us? Could that money be used to better effect?â€ said Page.
It’s really nice to see a media story where a stay at home dad isn’t the focus of the story, or portrayed like an anomaly, but instead is just another regular, everyday participant in our society.
As for the budget itself…man, this kills me because I loath the Conservatives. Actually, I loath the Alliance/Reform wing of the Conservatives. The old Progressive Conservatives were not so bad, and it seems there is much more Progressive Conservative than Reform Conservative in this budget.
True, there is no income splitting, which would have been even better for families where both parents work outside the home. This budget is going straight at the heartland of Conservative support – the single income family with a stay at home parent. Only in the Conservative mind, you have to think they see that parent as a Mom and not a Dad.
Overall, parents in Canada should be fairly happy – I know, I know, yes you can smell the slightest hint of praise for the Conservatives. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in his budget speech, “a single-earner family with two children and a $37,000 income will see its income tax bill cut by $620 or nearly a quarter.” That should pretty well get us parents back to even with regards to making the Child Tax benefit taxable income.
Most of that is due to a new tax credit of $310 per child under 18. There is also an increase in the basic personal tax credit for low-income spouses so that it equals that of the working parent, and an increase of $100 to $500 per year in federal government contributions to a child’s Registered Education Savings Plan.
There are still a few things missing from this budget for families, first and foremost a dire lack of quality, affordable daycare for many working parents. And in many parts of the country, housing costs are so high that it makes the dream of owning your own home just that – a dream. Address those two major concerns and you’ll make a lot of families in this country extremely happy.