Always do the math yourself

Vancouver Sun reporters Tracy Sherlock and James Kwantes take dictation from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation on their claim that Canadians’ after tax income has shrunk. British Columbians’ are, it is said, affected in particular:

According to the CTF, a B.C. family of four with a single-income earner who makes $35,000 a year — receiving a 1.8-per-cent raise to account for inflation — will pay $384 more for health, CPP and EI premiums in 2011, the biggest increase for this demographic.

As is often the case, the math doesn’t quite add up. Norm Farrell does the number-crunching:

In fact, if that family received a 1.8% wage increase, the amount would be $630 for the year. That would lead to higher contributions to CPP and EI of $42.40 on the increase plus $17.50 for an overall EI rate increase. Those payments would give rise to higher benefit eligibility but, ignoring that and adding the $7 monthly increase for medical services results in the family paying $144 more for health, COO and EI premiums in 2011, a far cry from the $384 claimed by the CTF.

I really think it was the professional responsibility of Ms Sherlock and Mr. Kwantes to double-check the number themselves. Alas. To be fair, the Globe also provided stenography services to the CTF.

Update: So just how does BC compare? You see another misleading thing the CTF does is that it didn’t provide the actual amount for after-tax income, just alludes to the increase. Misleading because if you have a large % increase on a large amount then you could still be better off than a smaller % on a smaller amount.

Now I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this link, and it doesn’t say what is being included in the calculations, but it’s billed as the “Canadian Income Tax Calculator 2011”. And if you plug in $35,000, you’ll see BC is #2 in After-tax income, after Nunavut. Strangely, according this, you are taking home more in 2011 than in 2010.



  1. spartikus

    Indeed. But they really should stagger their releases more

    Yesterday on News1130 we told you your paycheque will be smaller thanks to a hike in deductions. But today we’re learning businesses will be getting a break in the new year.

    …even a public doped up on post holiday tryptophan might start getting suspicious.