Fifty-two percent want federal debt paid, 44% want tax cuts, 2% want more spending

Taxpayers Federation Supporters tell Harper Government to Pay down Debt and Lower and Simplify Incom

By Gregory Thomas—— Bio and Archives--September 14, 2014

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  • 72% prefer lower tax rates and fewer brackets, 22% prefer income splitting
  • Child care deduction for stay-at-home parents narrowly preferred over income splitting

OTTAWA, ON: With MPs returning to Ottawa tomorrow for the final round of Parliamentary business before the 2015 federal election, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) released results of a supporter survey completed over the three days that shows broad support for paying down debt and providing lower, simpler personal income taxes.

More than 5,000 CTF supporters responded to the survey, with 2,500 providing additional written advice to the federal finance minister.


With the federal budget headed for a surplus ahead of the next election, paying down the federal debt was the top priority of 52 per cent of CTF supporters, while 44 per cent want to reduce taxes.

“The federal government has borrowed $154 billion since the financial meltdown in 2008,” said CTF Federal Director Gregory Thomas. “Ottawa now owes more than $600 billion dollars. Our supporters want Stephen Harper to start paying back some of the money his government has borrowed.”


Given an either/or choice between across-the-board tax cuts for everybody and income-splitting, CTF supporters chose lower rates and fewer brackets by a wide margin – 72 per cent in favour, compared to 22 per cent who want income splitting. Only 14 per cent, of CTF supporters said they would personally benefit from the government’s current income splitting proposal.

Despite only 9 per cent of CTF supporters picking the government’s income splitting proposal as their top choice for a tax cut, 52 per cent said they would support the Harper government if it goes ahead with the plan in the next budget, while 21 per cent would oppose it and 22 per cent are still on the fence.

Thomas says CTF supporters’ willingness to get behind income splitting reflects a pragmatic interest in lower taxes.

“Our supporters are practical people,” said Thomas. “They want lower taxes. And while income splitting might not be their favourite option, they know any tax cut beats increasing spending.”


When asked for the best way to cut taxes if the government targets only families with children, 27 per cent said stay-at-home parents should be able to claim the child care deduction currently available only to parents who pay outside providers for child care, while 26 per cent favoured income splitting. 17 per cent want to see the child tax credit raised.

“Stay at home parents have just as many expenses as parents who send their kids to an outside child care,” said Thomas. “It’s no surprise CTF supporters would support leveling the playing field for this tax benefit.”

For the complete survey results, please click HERE.

Gregory Thomas, Federal Director, Canadian Taxpayers Federation

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