Canadian Parenting and Child Care Community

Parenting => Finances => Topic started by: CareDC on March 22, 2009, 07:20:43 PM

Title: Women won't benefit from cutting taxes
Post by: CareDC on March 22, 2009, 07:20:43 PM
According to last year's budget speech, tax cuts over the past decade have accumulated to the point that Manitobans save $1 billion a year. Unfortunately a lot more of that $1 billion lands in the pockets of men than women.
Women in Manitoba still earn on average 65 per cent of what men earn. In 2006, women's yearly earnings were $27,700 compared with $42,900 for men. Aboriginal women, immigrant women and women living with disabilities earned even less.

At least 40 per cent of Canadian women pay no income taxes either because their work is unpaid or their income from paid work is too low. Many other women have incomes that fall into the lowest tax bracket. That means most women have benefited little -- if at all -- from the push for tax cuts in spite of being largely responsible for society's most important responsibility: raising our children.

Tax cuts cost in the form of lost revenue. The money won't be there the year in which it is cut, or in the years after. That's $1 billion per year that's not available for programs like affordable housing, child care, public transportation and health care. The United Nations Platform for Action Committee, Manitoba, consulted nearly 500 Manitoba women between 2005 and 2007 on their budget priorities. In each of the 17 communities we visited we heard that affordable child care and affordable rental housing were women's top priorities.

This government has introduced some measures to help low-income families. The Manitoba Child Benefit puts cash into the pockets of some of the poorest Manitobans. Families with an income of less than $15,000 can receive up to $420 a year per child. The elimination of the claw-back of the Child Tax Benefit to families on income assistance is also laudable.

But these amounts are tiny compared with the savings for those taxpayers who are benefiting from the billion-dollar tax cuts. According to the provincial government's own calculator, a single person earning $100,000 per year has saved over $15,000 in taxes over the past nine years.

To be fair, Manitoba's tax system is more progressive than those of other provinces but the gap between rich and poor is still growing.

The Manitoba government has also raised the minimum threshold at which people pay taxes. But raising the basic personal amount by $100, while costing the government considerable revenue, only saves taxpayers a little over $10 ($20 if you're a single parent).