Taxing Canadian Families: What’s Fair, What’s Not – With KF Commentary

July 2000. Vincent and Woolley. IRPP – research paper (PDF): “Taxing Canadian Families: What’s Fair, What’s Not

This paper thankfully calls for more support for families with dependent children or other dependents, and less discriminatory/more fair for all.

However the researchers do not recognize the social/public benefits of ‘private’ parental child care, and she does not see it as work. But that seems to be true for ‘pro family’ groups too.

Woolley and others fail to recognize the efficiency of parents who ‘multi-task’ far more than most other workers: doing child care while driving or shopping or cooking; combining various types of care work; combining administrative tasks, art, archiving, cleaning, teaching, gardening, lots of ’emotional work’; combining waged and unwaged work; etc.
Statistics Canada time studies only measure hours in “MAIN ACTIVITY” and do not recognize this HUGE EFFICIENCY factor. It only counts as “child care” direct interaction – eg reading to child – and not the kind of general presence and supervision type care that goes on all the time. So hrs doing child care are WAY TOO LOW for parental child care people and do not reflect reality . This misrepresents the amount of child care time that parents doing this work actually put in.
Do tax considerations actually play a big in any role in these decisions? Isn’t it really about what we think is important and what is possible for our own family? There is great diversity in what we believe, want, have, do, and can do.
“Incentives” are not primarily financial – otherwise no one would have a child except a trafficker or surrogate! Government (and those whose wages are from taxes and those who do not have children) can rely on parents to sacrifice and can reap the benefits (ie future, population, workers, customers, taxpayers, clients, etc) while parents ‘sacrifice’.

Does Woolley count the subsidies to the daycare system? These subsidies make fees (eligible for tas deductions) far lower than costs: that is a major source of unequal support for families.