LETTERS News Weekly
, October 25, 2014
Hello from Canada!
Regarding Luke McCormack’s article, “High time to introduce family-friendly taxation” (News Weekly, September 27, 2014), I too applaud income-splitting for families with dependants, which many of us up here want and don’t have either.
We have held conferences on this issue. (See the website, “It’s Fair to Share — reducing taxes in Canada by sharing income” at: http://sharingincome.tripod.com).
In fact, there is a women’s rights argument to support it, which we make as follows:
When women are assumed not to be sharing income and equal partners in the home, they are considered dependants on someone else. This is demeaning. A woman’s role is of equal value to a man’s and, however a couple may divide their earnings and the care of their children, they are a partnership of equals.
The government should recognise this sharing and partnership, since it is already happening. The tax system is supposed to tax according to behaviour not to coerce behaviour.
Canada has a similar and very gross imbalance in taxes on equally-earning households, based on how the money was earned and who earned it — two factors which are not really fair. The tax should be on the amount earned.
If women are not recognised for their unpaid work, then they are not fully recognised in the economy because the care of the young, sick, handicapped, frail elderly and dying is historically women’s work.
Yes, men can do it; but whoever does it should be acknowledged as helping contribute to an amount of work valued at a third of the GDP.
This should be seen as the huge contribution to the economy that it is, not just to the household concerned but also by saving government billions of dollars by keeping people who need care out of costly institutional settings.
The feisty women up here whom I admire are fighting for income-splitting because it is a key way to value women.
And, hey, we’re making progress! Our government gave us pension-splitting a few years ago and allows income-splitting for households with a handicapped child. We hear rumours that a much broader income-splitting provision may come with our very next federal budget — that is, for all households with children under the age of 18.
That would be great because it would achieve greater fairness. Currently, the government funds institutional daycare, but not home-based care.
If, instead, the government allowed greater tax relief for families with children, then the people themselves could decide how and where to raise their children.
NZ’s John Key a conservative?
Given that New Zealand Prime Minister John Key imposed same-sex marriage on his country last year without seeking an electoral mandate to do so, I find it hard to accept the headline, “Roller-coaster election ends with conservative win”, on Bernard Moran’s report on the recent New Zealand elections (News Weekly, October 11, 2014).
New Zealand’s attitude to the ANZUS alliance and traditional marriage can hardly be described as “conservative”.
Harry Dexter White, Soviet spy
Warren Reed’s lame attempt to defend the Soviet agent Harry Dexter White as an idealist (Book Review, News Weekly, October 11, 2014) is contradicted by evidence from Soviet intelligence sources.
Reed tells us in one sentence that “there is no evidence that (White) admired communism as a political ideology”, and in another that he “believed passionately in the success of the bold Soviet experiment with socialism”.
Only an expert in double-think could reconcile those two sentiments. Reed says in Dexter’s defence that he was not a member of the Communist Party; but neither were top Soviet “true believers”, such as Britain’s Harold “Kim” Philby and our own Dr Ian Milner, for obvious reasons.
White was a senior U.S. Treasury official in the 1940s, and suspected at that time of leaking material to the Soviets and promoting their interests rather than U.S. ones.
As with Alger Hiss, White’s innocence was proclaimed for decades by the pro-communist Left and by many commentators until the evidence of his guilt became conclusive; so it’s a bit late in the day for Reed to mount a rearguard defence.
Reed makes the cardinal mistake of accepting uncritically the apologia for White’s political activities, which Benn Steil — the author of the book Reed is supposed to be reviewing — offers us.
Dumb or dishonest?
May I thank Peter Westmore for his article, “Melting Antarctic ice sheet, or more climate alarmism?” (News Weekly, September 27, 2014).
The debate about climate change and the “scientific facts” often leaves me cold and angry.
When we are told the Antarctic ice cap is melting at unprecedented rates, the ill-informed take the bait every time, especially the left-wing ABC.
Any child who has achieved year 8 in high-school physics could tell you that pure water freezes or melts at 0°C at sea level. The majority of inland Antarctica experiences a temperature range of -30°C in summer to -80°C in winter, i.e., it never melts. On the coast it can range from +10°C in summer to -40°C in winter. The Antarctic summers are very short.
The ABC and the IPCC are either very dishonest or very dumb.
(Mr) Pat Shea,