Friday, February 14, 2014
Stephen Harper, Income Splitting, and the Theocon Agenda
Well there's one thing you can always count on when dealing with Stephen Harper's ghastly Cons.
If you look behind the curtain, sooner or later you will come face to face with their sinister theocratic agenda.
For only that can explain why their flawed income splitting plan is causing such an unholy ruckus.
The Conservative government is rethinking an expensive and carefully targeted campaign promise to allow income splitting for couples with kids, but Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s public questioning of this tax break is sparking an internal backlash from backbenchers eager to see the Tories deliver it.
And why Jason Kenney and so many Con MPs are for it even if it makes no sense.
Tory MPs opposed to abandoning the pledge say it would be a blow to rank-and-file supporters should the government shelve the idea. “Most MPs will tell you it’s one of the most popular things they’ve ever campaigned on,” one Conservative MP said. “Finance bureaucrats don’t like it? Too bad. We keep our platform commitments and this is both good policy and politics.”
Because it is nothing more than a plan to pleasure their rabid religious base by encouraging them to keep women at home barefoot and pregnant.
Discouraging women from working outside the home is surely not an appropriate goal for tax policy. But that may just be the motivation behind the Harper government's plan to introduce "income splitting" for families -- an expensive tax gift to traditional families with one breadwinner and a stay at home spouse.
Which is of course what the Harper regime set out to do from the moment it came to power, by killing plans for a national daycare program.
Despite the fact that both partners in the great majority of today's families with young children choose to participate in the job market, or have little financial choice but to work, the Harper government scrapped plans to establish a national child care program after it took office, replacing it with an inadequate cash benefit paid out to all families with young children.
And how do we know that they are still trying to pleasure their religious base? By looking at what the Cons are considering as a compromise.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper has developed cold feet on a major campaign promise, and is working on a compromise that will both attract voters and keep the Conservative caucus and voter base happy.
Work is being done to see if there is a better option for helping reduce the tax burden on families and attract a wider swath of voters. Increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit that gives parents $100 per month per child under six was one point of speculation.
Even though increasing the Universal Child Care Benefit will do nothing to increase badly needed daycare spaces, and killing the national daycare program was an absolute disaster.
This is the current reality in Canada: Women race to get their names on waiting lists when the stick turns blue on the pregnancy test, fingers crossed that they’ll win the future “daycare lottery” and get a spot that makes it possible to work, while being assured that their children are safe.
Young families, especially in cities such as Vancouver, where the cost of care is highest in the country, feel they are being priced out of parenthood. Businesses lament that that they are losing A-list employees who don’t return after parental leave because the stress of finding good child care wasn’t worth it.
Which has left young families struggling to cope, and children tragically vulnerable in the hands of unlicensed operators.
But of course Harper and his theocons don't care about that, because now that they have killed subsidies to political parties, they need their religious base, and their dollars, more than ever.
The key point here is that there are very close connections between senior Harper government policy advisers, and religious and social conservative organizations that want to use tax policy to help restore the traditional family with a stay at home spouse. That is likely a major reason why family income splitting looms so large on the Harper government agenda.
And really what more can you say about a Con regime that would put its narrow political/religious agenda before the needs of women and children?
Except that we shall use it against them in the next election.
We can hope that it will divide the Cons against each other.
And of course, as it is written.
By their actions we shall know them...
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