Thank you for the We Say editorial (Deficit Bad News For Many Families, The Daily News, Nov 15).
I agree fully with the editorial, but would take the analysis further to develop a long-run policy that would involve income-splitting among all the members of any Canadian family. A family of five, for example, with an income of $50,000 would then pay federal income tax on only one-fifth of their total income. This would encourage larger Canadian families — an outcome badly needed in this country.
Our birth rate is well below the 2.1 babies per female of child-bearing age required for population replacement. As a result, we require about 250,000 immigrants each year to maintain a working-age population needed to bankroll the very expensive social programs that have been built.
There are a few bad apples among those immigrants. CSIS told Parliament in 1997 there were 50 terrorist organizations operating within Canada at that time.
Income-splitting among all members of a family would have to be reached in steps. The loss of government revenue that would be involved would need to be offset by an overhaul of our social programs to eliminate abuses, and that would take time.
Anyone who suffers from income shortages due to problems outside their control deserves to receive adequate public support. At the same time, it needs to be recognized that income needs to be earned by the contributions they make to the needs of others. There is no free lunch!
I think the strongest supporters of this approach to public policy would be found among our immigrant population.