Income-splitting discussion will have to wait until budget is balanced: Harper

 

GORMLEY, Ont. – Stephen Harper says reducing taxes for Canadian families remains a high priority, but any discussion about income splitting will have to wait until the budget is balanced.

The prime minister first promised during the 2011 election campaign to allow individuals to transfer up to $50,000 to a spouse for tax purposes, as long as they have at least one dependent child under 18.

The promise was contingent on the budget being balanced.

The issue came up after Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled his latest fiscal blueprint, which projected a $6.4-billion surplus in 2015, just in time for the next federal election.

However, Flaherty said Wednesday that he’d rather spend the extra cash on reducing the $619-billion debt and lowering taxes.

When asked about the income-splitting promise Thursday, Harper said the government will “have the discussion about what to do next” once the budget is balanced and there’s a surplus.

“But we’re very clear that we’ve made some commitments and that reducing taxes for Canadian families will be among out highest priorities as we move forward,” he said.

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