Friday, October 27, 2006

The Cost of Fitness

The Tories tax credit for fitness is a joke. First it will be based on fitness programs that can prove they improve kids "cardio-respiratory fitness" Next it ain't $500 its only $78.50. For every $500 you spend on Hockey Equipment or joining a sports fitness centre you will get a tax credit for $78.50.

The federal government let parents claim up to $500, but give them an annual maximum of $78.50 per child.During the campaign before the Jan. 23 parliamentary election, Stephen Harper proposed that parents with children under 16 be able to claim $500 in registration fees per child participating in organized sports.

Dr. Kellie Leitch suggests that means activities such as archery and lawn bowling wouldn't qualify. Eligible programs would have to include at least 30 minutes of physical activity for kids under 10, and an hour for those 10 and over, for parents to qualify for the maximum tax credit of $78.50 per child.

Of course if your kids join a dance group like Shumka or go to a Drama Music Dance School like Fame you get nada. Despite these programs being just as effective at improving cardio-respiratory fitness in your kids as sports programs. Call it another tax credit for the suburban class, call it the Harpers Kids benefit, cause his son plays hockey and would qualify.

Call it another false promise, $500 suddenly becomes $78.50. And there are restrictions on who qualifies. Just like their Family Allowance payments aren't a Universal Daycare program.

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