Publications, opinions, and speeches
National Child Benefit: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
Published on 01/06/1996
This commentary highlights one of the proposals put forward in the recent Report of the Ministerial Council on Social Policy Reform and Renewal.
A national child benefit would replace the federal Child Tax Benefit and Working Income Supplement, provincial welfare and other payments on behalf of children. A national child benefit could take children off welfare because families on social assistance would receive benefits for children from a new program outside the welfare system. The proposal for a national child benefit has been put forward in the past in a number of federal and provincial reports.
The Caledon Institute has designed and costed a child benefit which would ensure that welfare families maintain their current level of child benefits and would substantially increase payments to the working poor; benefits would be fully indexed to inflation.
A national child benefit is appealing because it would bolster the incomes of working poor families and help break down the welfare wall. It also can play an important role in rebuilding the social union in which the federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to create a new kind of social program – a national, as opposed to federal or provincial, program.
ISBN – 1-895796-56-3