Government strike funds of $40/day/child not well conceived

Thoughts on the lack of thinking of the government's offer of $40/day/child

Parents of children who attend public school are waiting with baited breath to see if the next few weeks will bring a resolution to the teacher’s strike in BC.

To ease the financial burden, the BC government has offered all parents of school-aged children under the age of 13 funding-in-lieu-of–classroom-education, to the amount of $40 a day, for every day that school is not in session due to the strike. Assuming about 20 educational days a month, the funding-in-lieu will amount to approximately $800 per child, per month.

I have to question how well thought-out this was.

First off all, there was no indication of whether the money was to be given as a tax-free grant (since it is derived entirely from taxes, intended for education) or whether it will be deemed as (and taxed as) income. If these funds are attached to income and therefore taxable, parents will need to  determine if their income bracket changes. If so, eligibility for certain subsidies and refunds attached to lower incomes may be affected, depending, of course, on how long the strike lasts. Families headed with two adults will need to figure out which parent declares the income.

Regardless of how — or if — the money will be taxed, the second things that parents need to know is that these funds will be issued some time in October.

For parents living paycheque to paycheque, this means they will have to come up two months of daycare plus whatever non-refundable fees to pay for daycare you may need … if you find a spot. Parents who do not have several thousand dollars put aside for a rainy day — or teacher’s strike —  will have to find a provider willing to gamble on a maybe-income, with deferred payments, should the strike happen.

As a taxpayer, I need an adult resolution to this strike, and I need funds collected for the educational system to stay within that system. As a parent, my singular need is for my child to be back in school.

Britt Santowski

 

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