NEWSBITES: August 2015

The truth about Harper’s child care “Benefit”

• At the end of July, the Harper Conservatives hit a new low. Employment Minister Pierre Poilievre raced around the country in an election-style campaign to promote Harper’s child care cheques, but there’s one thing he hasn’t told families: the new child “benefit” is taxable.

That’s right. Taxable. Which means the Harper Conservatives are not only trying to buy our votes with our own money, but they also plan to take back a hefty chunk in April, after the election.

Most benefits are taxable, but here’s the catch: while bringing in the new child “benefit,” the Conservatives also just quietly axed our $2,225 child tax credit. After all’s said and done, that means a typical working parent will receive just $13 a month to cover skyrocketing child care costs.

Thirteen dollars. Not a single child care space, not affordable care and nowhere near an actual plan – just $13. That’s not even enough to buy a pack of diapers.

The scary thing is this could work; millions of cheques are arriving in people’s mailboxes right now and most of the Canadians Harper is targeting simply don’t know this is a cheap trick to try to buy their votes with their own money and leave them with little to show for it. They’ll see the hundreds of dollars in their bank account, not realizing it’s going to get clawed back at tax time, leaving them barely better off overall.

Together, we can counter Harper’s election ploy with hard-hitting, highly targeted ads to let people know the truth about the Harper Conservative’s child benefit, but we have to act fast and get the ads online and into print while this is still top of mind for millions of Canadians.

While outrageously claiming Harper’s new child care cheques mean “Christmas is coming early in July,” Poilievre forgot to mention Santa will be taking your presents back in the next tax season. To add insult to injury, Poilievre was also sporting a partisan Conservative Party shirt during his vote-buy – err, promotion tour – which surprise, surprise, centred on swing ridings the Conservatives need to win the next election.

Not only are the Conservatives deceiving families about how much we can spend, but they’re also promoting a government program to lock down a partisan vote – in the ridings where vote-splitting gave them a majority in 2011.

It’s a cheap election ploy. We know you won’t fall for it, but we need your help to warn parents about the actual worth of these cheques and how the Harper Conservatives think they can buy their votes.

The Leadnow community takes child care seriously. Thousands of us have listed the creation of a national child care system as one of our top priorities, but we know that any progress towards building one depends on cooperation across party lines and a Conservative defeat in October. We’ll be there to keep pushing right after the election, but right now we need to get the message out to Canadians.

Donate to fund powerful ads in the ridings Harper needs most to win again and counter the Conservatives’ child care spin. Visit www.leadnow.ca and click Donate at the top of the page.

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