Income Splitting Policy: A Gendered Analysis

Title: Income Splitting Policy: A Gendered Analysis
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Harper and the conservative propose to introduce a new “Income Splitting Policy”
to their tax plan. The basic tenets of this policy are that a household with a single source
of income can transfer up to 50,000 to the lower earning spouse in order to receive tax
breaks. Harper would favour a flat tax over a plan based on the principle of progressive
taxation, or different tax rates for different levels of income. Harper argued that the
current system penalizes households with one higher income earner who make the same
amount of money as households with equal income earners. Previously, a two income
household where both spouses earn 40 000 a year would pay $11,720 paid in taxes, and a
family with both spouses making 20 000 and 60 000 would pay $13,660 (done on a
simple calculator). This was the provided justification for the Harper government. This
approach has the same effect of the flat tax, but is presumably easier to swallow and not
explicitly labeled a “flat tax”. This is a move that is no doubt meant to calm and assure
the masses, along with his paltry rebate of two dollars a day. Because of criticism, the tax
benefits from income splitting have been capped at 2,000 dollars.
The Harper government, and the Conservative party of Canada have long been
criticized for representing the needs of the upper classes, and for engaging in social
engineering, that favours single income households, with typically the breadwinners
being men in these cases. The conservative values of the home, of the role of women and
men, lie at the heart of the debate surrounding this policy. Critics suggest that this is a
policy which favours more traditional, “patriarchal” families, and some have even gone
so far as to suggest this plan is mean to keep women barefoot and in the home, as it
encourages them not to work, to take on the role of homemaker, or to work a part time
1. McQuaig, Linda. Back to the Kitchen, Mrs. Cleaver: Income-splitting and Social
Engineering. IPolitics. 5 Nov. 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
2. Milligan, Kevin. Is the Conservative Tax Plan Principled or Vote-Buying?
Macleansca. N.p., 3 Nov. 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2014.
3. Lahey, Kathleen. Income Splitting Won't Help Parents Who Really Need a Tax
Break. The Globe and Mail. Phillip Crawley, 40 Oct. 2014. Web. 01 Dec. 2014. 

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