Income splitting idea regressive, unfair to provinces, Ontario says

A controversial Conservative plan to allow some Canadian families to reduce their income taxes is under fire again — this time over what it could end up costing the provinces.

OTTAWA — A controversial Conservative plan to allow some Canadian families to reduce their income taxes is under fire again — this time over what it could end up costing the provinces.

Ontario is calling the government’s proposed income splitting scheme regressive and a threat to public services after a new report concluded it could cost provincial coffers at least $1.7 billion a year.

A spokesperson for Ontario’s minister of finance says it’s another example of Ottawa balancing the books on the backs of the provinces.

The Conservatives, meanwhile, say it’s premature to talk about the provincial implications, since the program has not been formally introduced.

During question period today in the House of Commons, the government defended the policy against opposition claims it would be costly and unfair, benefiting only a small percentage of Canadian taxpayers.

Criticism of the plan has come from across the political spectrum, including from the late former finance minister Jim Flaherty, who expressed misgivings about it after his last federal budget.

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