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OTTAWA, Dec 11 (LSN)  A press release on Wednesday from Opposition Critic for Families, Calgary Centre MP Eric Lowther cited mounting evidence of the need for tax relief for Canadian families. Lowther’s release was prompted by two statements by concerned citizen groups calling for fairer taxation for families. Both the Canadian Council on Social Development and the Canadian Family Tax Coalition issued reports this week criticizing tax inequalities for Canadian families.  Supporting his contentions, Lowther issued a page of relevant facts:  * A 1995 StatsCan study shows that Canadian men and women want more children than they end up having. The average male intends to have 2.28 kids, while the average female wants 2.46 children. Sadly, the average family now has only 1.59 children – a fertility only 75% of the replacement rate (2.1 children per couple). As a result, Canada’s population is aging rapidly, and Stats Can predicts it will begin shrinking by the year 2020. At that point, Medicare, Old Age Security, the Canada Pension Plan and the entire economy will be at risk. Immigration cannot save a vanishing population, so Canada needs more babies.  * The Fraser Forum (July, 1998) reveals that fully 48% of the yearly income of the average Canadian family is consumed by taxes, visible and hidden. Canada’s various levels of government claim to spend their tax revenues for the good of Canadian families. But ultimately, that revenue comes only from families.  Families know their own needs much better than the government, and their “administrative costs” are much smaller.  * According to the National Foundation for Family Research and Education’s annual Family Health Index-1998,  “bracket creep” and the “clawing back” of tax credits from families with incomes as low as $20,000 per year mean that families earning between $20,000 and $40,000 per year now pay the highest marginal tax rates in the country.  * Roughly 82% of Canadians want the tax code changed to make it easier for parents with young children to have a parent at home. According to a November, 1998 Southam/Compas poll, this is a very high priority for 42% of Canadians, a high priority for 23%, and a priority for 17%.  * The C.D. Howe Institute’s latest report, Giving Mom and Dad a Break: Returning Fairness to Families in Canada’s Tax and Transfer System (November 1998), states, “Current Canadian tax policy affords no universal recognition of children. In effect, it treats children in middle- or high-income families like consumer spending, as if parents had no legal or moral obligation to spend money on their care. This treatment is indefensible.”  It may be that, even in Canada, governments are deliberately maintaining these unpopular, and unreasonable burdens on parents in response to aggressive UN and U.S. international de-population policies. That is,  the discouragement of child-bearing may the real intent behind the economic discrimination being experienced by two-parent families with children.

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