Friday, January 06, 2006

Beer And Popcorn, Part II

We had a surefire winner with the first part of the child care plan once Scott Reid made his infamous "beer and popcorn" gaffe.

I'm not so sure the second part is as strong, though, because it sounds a little too much like Liberal bribing with our own money:

A Tory government would offer tax credits to employers, both business and non-profit organizations, who create child-care spaces.

"The money would go directly to assist those who make the capital investment to build new child-care spaces," Harper said. "The money will not be funnelled through politicians; it will not create a huge new bureaucracy."

The program, he said, would cost $250 million a year and create 25,000 new spaces a year.

A tax credit is usually preferable to an outright grant, since the money stays in the taxpayer's pocket instead of being paid out and given back in a grand gesture of generosity.

But instead of leaving the choice to parents, it puts the responsibility for creating child care spaces directly into the hands of employers and non-profits. Non-profits might be more altruistic and willing to bear the burden, but I don't know how many more employers will be willing to take on what amounts to another benefit program, tax credit or no. Or perhaps they'll just spend the taxes they save on beer and popcorn too.

I could see granting tax breaks to child care service operators or to start-ups, however, since they create employment along with opening up new spaces.

I remain sceptical about its efficacy, but I suppose if it pries away more women's votes from the Liberals, it can't be all bad.

Source: CBC

1 comment:

BBS said...

It's actually more relevant than you think. Take a look at absentee rates in Canada, what companies spend on absentee programs and what absenteeism cost the Canadian ecomony. A significant part of this absenteeism is related to childcare issues.

An investment such as this, with the government helping with startup costs is not so bad. This will actually help with productivity in companies that implement it. I suspect there will be a lineup for the funds from companies.