BUSINESS

Harper's Boutique Tax Cuts Will Help Families With Kids Under 18

10/30/2014 03:44 EDT | Updated 10/30/2014 03:59 EDT
COLE BURSTON via Getty Images
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper addresses media alongside Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (not pictured) during a joint press conference in Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canda on June 9, 2014. AFP PHOTO/ Cole BURSTON (Photo credit should read Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images)

OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is pressing ahead with income splitting for families with kids under 18 -- a multibillion-dollar Conservative election promise from 2011 that critics have said would benefit too few Canadians.

Harper says the Conservative government is also boosting the universal child care benefit -- $160 a month for kids under six, up from $100, plus a new monthly benefit of $60 for children aged six through 17, effective in 2015.

The so-called "Family Tax Cut'' will allow an eligible taxpayer to transfer up to $50,000 of income to his or her spouse for tax purposes in order to collect a non-refundable tax credit of up to $2,000 per year.

Those two measures together will cost $3.1 billion in 2014-15 and $4.5 billion in 2015-16.

The Conservatives made the income-splitting promise during the 2011 election campaign, but it was contingent on the federal books being balanced.

Harper has said the federal deficit in the past fiscal year would be $5.2 billion, a fraction of the $16.6 billion forecast, but insisted there won't be a surplus until next year.

More coming...