Monday, October 12, 2015 9:00 am ·  0 Comments
Due to the number of federal candidates for the Federal Riding of Oakville North Burlington, the questions that the Region of Halton asked will be broken down into each question. This question deals with Childcare.
Currently, Halton region has a population of more than 500,000 and it is expected to meet mandated growth targets of 780,000 by the year 2031. The Town of Milton continues to be the fastest growing community in Canada and the Greater Toronto Area with a population that increased by 56.6 per cent between 2006 and 2011. The amount of children aged zero to four in Halton has also continued to increase each year, creating a significant need for childcare and early learning programs. For many households, childcare continues to be the second-largest expense after housing. In addition to high fees, there are simply not enough spaces to meet the demand for childcare in the Halton community. As a result, many Halton families continue to struggle to find affordable, quality childcare options for their young children.
How would you and your government ensure that there are more affordable and accessible early learning and childcare spaces available to match Halton’s growing population?
Janice Best – New Democratic Party
Too many parents, mothers in particular, are sacrificing career goals because they cannot find affordable care. Tom Mulcair and the NDP are committed to delivering a Canada-wide early childhood education and childcare program. We will create or maintain a million quality childcare spaces in Canada – where parents pay no more than $15 a day – including 60,000 spaces in the first year.
Studies show that for every dollar invested in childcare, our economy grows by $2. A national childcare program could generate more than $3 billion for the federal government through additional revenues and reduced costs. By helping more women return to the workforce, we will generate billions of new dollars for our economy.
David Clement – Libertarian Party of Canada
Much like affordable housing, the key to affordable childcare is ensuring that residents have more money in their pocket. As already mentioned, the Libertarian Party would seek to increase the Basic Exemption to $17,300 from $11,100. This significantly increases every Canadian’s tax free earnings. On top of that, individuals with children would receive an additional $4,000 tax exemption per child.
This means that a single parent, with 2 children, would have their first $25,300 in income be tax free at the federal level. As already mentioned above, the average family in Oakville would save approximately $5,500 per year with our tax plan. Along with our additional exemption to accommodate for the cost of childcare and raising children, we have also included a disability exemption of $4,000. This additional exemption ensures that parents have the funds needed to meet the specific needs of their children in an accessible manner.
Pam Damoff – Liberal Party of Canada
The Liberal Party of Canada is committed to making childcare more affordable for middle class families and will do so by providing families with a Canada Child Benefit (CCB). Families, with children, that have annual incomes below $150,000 (9 out of 10 families) will receive more in monthly child benefit payments than under the current system. The benefit amount will be geared to income so that families who need it more, will get more. A typical two-parent family, with two kids, earning $90,000 per year will get $490 tax-free every month.
Further, all Canadians with taxable income over $44,700 will see their income tax rate fall; income earned between $44,700 and $89,401 will be subject to a reduced tax rate from 22 percent to 20.5 percent – a 7 percent reduction. This tax relief is worth up to $670 per year, per person – or $1,340 per year for a two-income household.
These initiatives will help middle class Canadian families afford the child care they need.
Adnan Shahbaz – Green Party of Canada
We will work with the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to establish accessible, convenient, enriched and affordable child care spaces for any Canadian family that seeks it. We will support women to reenter the workforce whenever they choose after having children. The Green Party believes that workplace childcare has many advantages – enhanced parenting time and access to children through the work day, extension of breastfeeding opportunities, improved employee productivity, and improving the convenience of public transport when parents and kids share their morning destination. Tax breaks to employers for the creation of child care spaces is one tool among many we will use to ensure that families have the spaces they need.
Several provinces have gone it alone in designing innovative programs that work for their populations. Quebec has $7aday daycare (now on a sliding scale up to $20 a day depending on income). Ontario is moving towards full day kindergarten for 4 and 5 year olds. We will ramp up to $1 billion a year to support existing and new programs that would be cost shared with the provinces.
In addition, we support phasing out the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB) and allocating the funds to federal support for a substantial increase in the number of regulated affordable child care spaces (the net cost of the UCCB will be approximately $6.7 billion by 20172018). Among other things, the Green Party goal is to negotiate with the provinces and territories to ensure that Canada collectively provides regulated child care spaces for 70 % of children age 6 or younger with working parents, instead of the mere 22.5% provided now.
Effie Triantafilopoulos – Conservative Party of Canada
Conservatives introduced the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB), increased the Child Care Expense Deduction and introduced income splitting for families with children.
This year the UCCB was increased to $1,920 per year per child under the age of six, and a new benefit of $720 per year per child aged six through seventeen was introduced. In addition, the Child Care Expense Deduction was increased by $1,000 per child for the 2015 taxation year. This will allow parents, where both parents work, to claim a bigger deduction for childcare expenses when they file their taxes in April 2016. Finally, the Family Tax Cut was introduced for couples with children under 18, allowing income-splitting to reduce federal taxes payable. A typical two-earner family of four will receive tax relief and increased benefits of up to $6,600 in 2015.
All these measures have helped millions of Canadian families by supporting their childcare choices through direct financial support.
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