Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday January 28, 2015
What is the Middle Class?
Canada’s finance minister insists low- and middle-income families will see two-thirds of the benefits from the government’s contentious multibillion-dollar tableau of family-friendly measures.
By that measure, Joe Oliver is suggesting families with annual incomes as high as $120,000 qualify as middle class.
The Finance Department’s own internal breakdown of the distribution of relief from the family package shows 68 per cent of the benefits — about two-thirds — will go to families that earn as much as $120,000 in 2015.
The Canadian Press obtained the figures under the Access to Information Act.
“Two-thirds of the benefits will go to low- and middle-income families,” Oliver said Monday while defending the government’s family package during Question Period in the House of Commons.
“I’m proud that our government has presented a plan, a benefit plan for four million Canadian families — every one of them.”
That family plan, including a controversial $2-billion-per-year income-splitting component, is expected to be a centrepiece of the Tories’ re-election campaign when Canadians head to the polls later this year.
It has also become a preferred bull’s-eye for their adversaries.
Political opponents have zeroed in on the income-splitting element, calling it an unfair policy that provides no relief for 85 per cent of all Canadian households and provides more benefits to wealthier families.
Looking at the family tax-and-benefit package as a whole, however, the subjective nature of the so-called “middle class” means who exactly stands to benefit — and who does not — remains an open question.
There is no universal definition of the middle class, a term frequently trotted out by politicians as a way to connect with a large group of voters. (Source: Toronto Star)
Published on Yahoo Canada News, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, and The Ottawa Citizen.
— Graeme MacKay (@mackaycartoons) January 27, 2015
Feedback: From (name pixelated), or someone who’s NOT Charlie Hebdo, evidently: