Tonight: Cullen to reject unfair income-split plan that abandons most Canadian families

OTTAWA -Opposition Finance Critic Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) rose in Question Period today to challenge the Conservative government to revise its grossly unfair income-splitting plan that would benefit only the richest Canadians, and he takes the lead again in an evening vote on the matter.

“The Conservative $5-billion income-splitting scheme would give the most money to people who need it the least,” Cullen charged this afternoon.  “There is nothing for single moms, for parents who are in the same tax bracket, and nothing for 86% of Canadians.”

MPs are scheduled to vote at 10pm Eastern on the Conservatives’ lopsided, costly scheme that the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates would annually cost taxpayers $3-billion federally and $1.9-billion provincially while benefitting just the top 14% of income-earners.

New Democrats have used the final Opposition Day motion of the Spring session to force a vote so that Canadians can see where individual MPs stand on this fundamental issue of fairness.

The Conservatives promised to implement income splitting in the 2011 election campaign after balancing the federal budget (projected for 2015).  The plan would only apply to families if there are two parents in different income brackets and a large difference between their earnings.

Single parents, those in the same income bracket, or those who aren’t in the wealthiest group of Canadians don’t qualify at all.

“That means the most financially well-off Canadians would get a tax break on the backs of ordinary families,” Cullen said.

“Tonight we are challenging elected leaders to instead support measures that give Canadian families a break and counteract the disgraceful rise in income inequality that has occurred under successive Liberal and Conservative governments.”

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Contact: Shelley Browne, nathan.cullen.c1@parl.gc.ca; 250-877-4140