Thanks for the $2000 CRA

I have been slowly getting my Tax Returns together (I do them for most of my direct family), and while doing that I wondered if I was going to receive the announced $2000 tax rebate announced last fall, so I went looking to see whether that was the case.

I am talking about Line 423 of your return:

Under proposed changes, for the 2014 and subsequent tax years, you or your spouse or common law partner may be able to claim a non refundable tax credit of up to $2,000, if your child ordinarily lived with you or your spouse or common-law partner throughout the year.

Luckily, we have young Master C8j, and Mrs. C8j works “full part-time” so she does not earn too much, so we end up not eligible for this credit. Given Mrs. C8j stayed home for most of the time when my daughters were growing up, it would have been nice to have this credit back then, but I suppose I can’t complain about it. Naturally Turbotax Canada 2014 had the credit already calculated.

My only query ends up being, why is this being capped at $2000? I keep reading how it only helps the Rich Middle Class in Canada (I’d like to say “WTF?” to that one), or that somehow it discriminates against women working (yes I did read that, I ain’t making it up), anybody care to comment about how it is such a diabolical Harper Government ploy to take over our minds?

Is this enough to buy my vote? No, since (as usual) the program is half-baked (much like the TFSA and other ideas), and I am not a one issue voter.


Financial Daylight Savings

Hopefully you have sprung your clocks ahead (if not, you are really late this morning), and with this in mind, I keep wondering the point of DST?  The best commentary I can find on this odd idea is:

“Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.” -Native American Leader


Daylight Savings Time? What a Crock!

That  sum it up nicely.

That idea, moving around things and then claiming you have more, really is a good commentary on today’s debt riddled lifestyles. You borrow money so you can have more things, and you are thus farther ahead?

I am going to make a finite amount of money in my life, however, I will give a lot of it to someone else so I can have some material things sooner, and thus feel like I have more.  – Big Cajun Man Corollary of Debt

Evidently the Monday after Daylight Savings time there are more accidents, so hopefully you drove carefully as well? I decided to take the day off, just to be safe.


Illness, K-Cups, Interest Rates and #BestOfThisWeek

It has been a while since my last bout of the flu, but this latest version did knock me for quite a loop. I don’t regularly take sick leave (part of my spartan/protestant upbringing, that if you book off sick, you are showing weakness),but I took 2 days this week, which is more than I had used in the past 2 years. Whoever gave me this illness will hopefully get their come upance.

K Cup Pod

Diabolical Ecological Timebomb

Seems the inventor of the K-cup thinks he has created an ecological monster. John Sylvan (who sold out in ’97 for $50K) has been vocal in his unhappiness with how successful the K-cup business has been and its negative impact on the environment. Naturally he has a solution to the problem, but no one is taking him up on his great new idea (yet). Maybe he can sell this idea for more than $50K?

The Bank of Canada kept it’s key overnight rate at 3/4% on Wednesday, which is no great surprise, but it does make you wonder when the economy can be set free of the over stimulation that has kept it going since 2008? This is the summing up paragraph from the monthly statement on setting interest rates:

Financial conditions in Canada have eased materially since January, in response to the Bank’s recent monetary policy action and to global financial developments. This easing is reflected across the yield curve and in a wide range of asset prices, including the Canadian dollar. These conditions will mitigate the negative effects of the oil price shock, further boosting growth through stronger non-energy exports and investment.

So lower oil prices are hurting things, but the lower dollar may be stimulating other parts of the economy, maybe ludicrously low-interest rates are the new normal?

My Writings for Week Ending March 6th

In spite of  this vile illness I did manage to get two articles out this week :

  • Lower prices in January, now pull the other leg, is my common complaint that the yo-yo’ing prices of gasoline is confusing the inflation numbers, and hiding the steady increase in food prices over the past year or so.
  • I might have been having a fever delirium moment when I finished off the Debt Control Idea, but the comment about the return to Debtors Prison was an interesting point of view as well.

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Debt Limiting Idea

As I have written in the past I have a huge backlog of unfinished ideas, and thanks to a vile chest infection, I am dipping into this odd array of unfinished ideas. This one I think crosses a few lines (i.e. in poor taste), but it does have a point to it.

I was trying to think of how banks might slow down the tsunami of debt that seems to be accumulating with all of these cheap interest rates, that we currently have in Canada, and I have come up with a brilliant† idea, that will never (ever) be implemented (because banks make money if you are in debt, so this fantastic idea is counter to their profit line).

† – Where brilliant could be translated to sarcastic as well

Debt Tatoo

Nifty Looking Ink Eh

The important technological step that is needed is erasable tattoos, which are being developed (well the inks are) as we speak.

Here is the idea, you go into your local banker, and you want to borrow a large sum of money, and your banker offers you the following

Get the word Debtor tattooed on the back of each hand, and you can have the loan for a 25% discount on the current lending rates. When the debt is repaid, the tattoos are removed. However, if you show up with one of these tattoos, you are automatically refused.

There would have to be subclauses about if you tried to alter the tattoo, or hide it in some fashion you’d have to pay a penalty but wouldn’t this be a great idea?

Too harsh? All it really would do is drive folks to alternate lenders, I doubt it would slow many folks down.


Stats Canada published the Consumer Price Index a little earlier this month (this past Thursday), and as I guessed the continued oscillations of Gas prices has caused the January CPI to seem to suggest that prices only rose 1.0% year over year, which of course, is more fun with numbers. Without gas prices included the actual CPI is around 2.5%, and with gas prices going back up 25% this past month, look for a not so happy story in February.

CPI with and without gas prices

CPI with and WITHOUT Gas prices for the past little while

The major increase that impacts everyone is the 4.5% increase in Food prices, to quote Stats Canada:

Food prices advanced 4.6% on a year-over-year basis in January, the largest gain since November 2011. Prices for food purchased from stores were up 5.4% in the 12 months to January, following a 4.2% rise the previous month. Prices for both fresh fruit and fresh vegetables posted higher year-over-year increases in January than in December. Consumers paid 2.8% more for food purchased from restaurants in January compared with the same month in 2014.

Given all the cogitations of fuel prices the price of food has been steadily going up, and making it a lot harder for lower and middle-income Canadians to feed their families.

CPI for past little while

Seasonally adjusted CPI for past 5 years or so

Bank of Canada’s core index

Let us hope that the Bank of Canada has a more sane view of inflation?

The Bank of Canada’s core index rose 2.2% in the 12 months to January, matching the increase in December.

The seasonally adjusted core index rose 0.2% on a monthly basis in January, matching the gain in December.

Well, it is closer to the real numbers, but I suspect we will continue with our over-stimulated economy for a while longer.

Consumer Price Index, major components and special aggregates

A usual, I will include one of the big tables for you to see just how interesting all the numbers are, and you do the comparison on things.


Relative import1 January
Dec 2014
to Jan 2015
Jan 2014
to Jan 2015
% (2002=100) % change
All-items 100.002 123.1 124.5 124.3 -0.2 1.0
Food 16.41 133.0 137.4 139.1 1.2 4.6
Shelter 26.80 130.5 133.0 133.1 0.1 2.0
Household operations, furnishings and equipment 13.14 114.7 117.8 118.0 0.2 2.9
Clothing and footwear 6.08 89.2 91.1 91.1 0.0 2.1
Transportation 19.10 129.2 124.9 122.4 -2.0 -5.3
Health and personal care 4.73 118.3 119.6 120.0 0.3 1.4
Recreation, education and reading 10.89 104.7 106.1 105.6 -0.5 0.9
Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products 2.86 140.9 149.1 149.9 0.5 6.4
Special aggregates
Bank of Canada’s core index3 85.39 121.3 123.7 124.0 0.2 2.2
All-items excluding energy 92.21 120.1 122.5 122.9 0.3 2.3
Energy4 7.79 160.2 148.7 139.5 -6.2 -12.9
Gasoline 3.84 179.5 149.9 131.3 -12.4 -26.9
All-items excluding food and energy 75.80 117.3 119.3 119.5 0.2 1.9
Goods 46.68 114.2 114.6 114.0 -0.5 -0.2
Services 53.32 131.9 134.5 134.7 0.1 2.1
  1. 2013 Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket weights at December 2014 prices, Canada, effective with the January 2015 CPI.
  2. Figures may not add up to 100% as a result of rounding.
  3. The Bank of Canada’s core index excludes eight of the CPI’s most volatile components (fruit, fruit preparations and nuts; vegetables and vegetable preparations; mortgage interest cost; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; inter-city transportation; and tobacco products and smokers’ supplies) as well as the effects of changes in indirect taxes on the remaining components. For additional information on the core index, consult the Bank of Canada’s website.
  4. The special aggregate “energy” includes: electricity; natural gas; fuel oil and other fuels; gasoline; and fuel, parts and accessories for recreational vehicles.


CANSIM tables 326-0020 and 326-0031.