10/31/2014 04:00 EDT | Updated 12/30/2014 05:59 EST

Today on the Hill: Income splitting a plus for voters, or a splitting headache?

OTTAWA - Federal politicians will splitting hairs today over whether income splitting is a good idea.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans Thursday to allow eligible taxpayers with kids to transfer up to $50,000 of income to their spouse in order to reduce their taxes.

Critics say the measure is targeted at the wealthy and benefits few families.

For those with an eye toward the next federal election — slated for next fall — perhaps the bigger draw for voters is another promise made by Harper; to increase the universal child care benefit.

The first cheques are expected to arrive in mailboxes by July.

Of course, both measures will hit the government's bottom line, costing $3.1 billion in the current fiscal year and $4.5 billion in 2015-16.

Here are some other events and happening taking place around Ottawa:

— Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet Luo Zhaohui, the Chinese ambassador to Canada;

— MP Royal Galipeau and Ed Holder, the science and technology minister, are to announce support to businesses through the National Research Council's Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program;

— And how spooky is this? NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and his family will hand out candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters at the leader's official residence, Stornoway. The prime minister will do the same at 24 Sussex Drive. But it might be more fun at Rideau Hall, where staff at the Governor General's residence will greet costumed guests with a creepy carnival complete with clowns, fortune tellers, snake charmers and a sword swallower.

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