In the end, statistics show that the number of Québécois who will be 75 years + in 20 years will completely explode, an increase of 79% (Calculation: CFFP; Source: ISQ). The results are surprising; consequently, we will have to change our tune to adjust our fiscal policy within 20 years, to better match this new demographic paradigm with the accountability of our public finances.
The rain of gratuity does not exist in tax policy; every dollar; every cent counts; We need to ensure that there is as little inconsistency as possible when it comes to tax fairness. In Québec, like the Scandinavian countries of Europe, we are progressive with our taxation policies. In other words, we are more inclined to use the power of our taxation measures for our people’s merits and goodwill.
Notwithstanding my last comment, and we must say so, no tax system can be perfect; There have always been flaws and illogicalities that hide in plain sight, in the cracks of the walls, encrusted, for a long time, in the fabric of our tax system. It goes without saying; it is inevitable.
In this sense, you will be surprised to learn, at least I was, that the wealthiest in our society can keep 40% of Quebec’s Family Allowances (the “QFA”). Specifically, QFA in 2022, including the supplement, for a couple with two children aged 3 and 7 is $5,228. QFA’s reduction parameters are approximately within the family salary range of $50,000, up to $110,000. Once you have exceeded this threshold, there is no more reduction, and you keep a floor amount of $ 2080.
Let’s go back to the same example, but this time, let’s evaluate the Canada Child Benefit (the “CCB”). On the Ottawa side, they are more generous; they allocate $ 13,994. The amount is reduced, even more so, from approximately $30,000, up to $70,000. Then, the reduction of CCB is linear to the wage upsurge, up to $ 200,000 of family income. Once you have crossed this amount, receiving CCBs is no longer possible.
Well, how do you explain these differences? In Québec, even if you are two doctors with children aged 3 to 7 and earn $1M together: we will still recognize that you have a greater capacity to pay taxes, so, in turn, we want you to keep the universality of QFA payment. I would go one step further: I’m speculating, but it is possible that we used the French tax system as a proxy to justify the allowance payment. This system enables us to obtain tax advantages by adding children to your family cohort.
Admittedly, at the federal level, the philosophy is significantly different. So, with that; even if you have two children and your family income is high; unless you have access to a childcare expense credit; You will pay the same tax with or without children in all high-income situations.
At this point in the story, it is imperative to address the elephant in the room: is it necessary to continue to give benefits to people who do not need them?
Yes, okay, you may be right: in short, only some families in Quebec with a family income greater than $200,000 and even fewer families with children of age for QFA. But, admittedly, when we multiply this number of families by the minimum floor benefit of $2,080, the amounts involved are relatively small and symbolic.
As mentioned at the beginning, there will be a meteoric increase in the number of people who will be 75+ years old within 20 years. So, why not abolish QFA for the wealthiest in our society and finally inject them into our health care system?
My dear politicians, if there is a matter that I guarantee you, the political issue in Québec, the sinews of war, lies in this “sandbox.”