03/23/2015 11:00 EDT | Updated 05/23/2015 05:59 EDT

Income splitting 'moral failure' for excluding single parents: YWCA

The YWCA is adding to the criticism around the federal government's income-splitting tax incentives for its exclusion of single parent families.

"I think it's really a moral failure of our society," Janet Austin, the CEO of the Metro Vancouver YWCA, told The Early Edition's Rick Cluff.

In British Columbia, there are approximately 16,000 single parent families, and according to the provincial government, approximately 90 per cent of those parents are women.

"It's a reflection of the poverty of women, and the fact that we don't recognize the importance of the care of children and recognize that it is of economic value."

Last week, the Parliamentary Budget Officer released a report saying the new family tax credit — a non-refundable credit of up to $2,000 for couples with children under 18-years-old — will cost $2.2 billion dollars, and will benefit 15 per cent of Canadian households.

The report said middle and middle-high income couples are most likely to benefit from the credit.

Austin said she would like to see investments aimed at helping single parents, such as a federal universal child care system.

"It's very difficult for single parents to work or to improve their employment potential by studying when they have responsibility for the care of young children, so they face enormous challenges.

To hear the full interview with Janet Austin, click the audio labelled: YWCA criticizes new family tax credit.