This letter to the editor appeared in yesterday's Barrie Advance (online edition).
BARRIE – In “Redefine taxes to recognize both partners” in the March 15 Advance, Beverly Smith writes that a better way to help Canadian families would be to allow all families (not just pensioners) to split their incomes to get a fairer tax rate. This would recognize the family unit, and that each person contributes, even if they don’t have the same cash income.
The Green Party of Canada fully supports this idea; it was in our platform for the 2008 election, and will be there again if we go to the polls this spring. In today’s tough times, our seniors aren’t the only ones facing financial strain.
Greens recognize that families with varying incomes are penalized by our tax system. Allowing income splitting will help in many situations, not only when one partner chooses to stay home rather than work, but also when one of two working partners is laid off or between jobs. In today’s job market, that applies to a lot of people. It will be a boost to families where one keeps a paying job while the other starts a new or home business, which often brings several years of low (or no) income. And it recognizes that many “non-working” spouses actually contribute significant labour through volunteer work, childcare, elder care, or other supportive efforts.
The time for full income splitting has come. It’s fair, and in our budget it’s affordable.
Green Party of Canada
National Revenue Critic