MP REPORT: Keeping a promise to families

Colin Mayes provides information on the government's tax relief program

During the 2011 election, our Conservative government made a promise to bring more tax relief to Canadians through income splitting after we balanced the budget.

Well, as Prime Minister Stephen Harper stated recently, “Our government is fulfilling its promise to balance the federal budget. We are now in a position to fulfill our promise to help Canadian families balance their’s.”

The family tax cut, a federal tax credit, will allow a higher-income spouse to transfer up to $50,000 of their taxable income to a spouse in a lower tax bracket. The credit will provide tax relief — capped at $2,000, and is exclusively for couples with children under the age of eighteen effective for the 2014 tax year.

Secondly, your government is increasing the universal child care benefit for children under the age of six. As of Jan. 1, 2015, parents will receive a benefit of $160 per month for each child, up from the current $100. This will be a $1,920 per year, per child. We also expanded the child care benefit for children ages six through 17 giving parents $60 per child, per month or $720 per year, per child.

The increase in the child care benefit allowance will start July 1 but will be retroactive to January 1st.

Thirdly, your government is increasing the child care expense deduction dollar limits by $1,000 effective for the 2015 tax year ( $7,000 to $8,000 in 2015 for children under seven and from $4,000 to $5,000 for children seven through 16 and to $11,000 from $10,000 for children who are eligible for the disability tax credit). Families can claim the family tax cut in the spring of 2015 when they file their 2014 tax returns.

I will always remember my last conversation with former finance minister Jim Flaherty. He said to me, “Colin, we need to find some way to help young families afford to purchase a home.” These new tax measures will certainly go a long way in helping young families fulfill their dreams of owning their own home; this is good for families and all Canadians.

While other political ideologies believe your money is better in the government treasury, our government believes your money should be in your pockets and spent on your priorities.

Colin Mayes is the MP for Okanagan-Shuswap.