Policy Forum: Kids are Not Boats

Posted: 6 Jan 2016

See all articles by Kenneth J. Boessenkool

Kenneth J. Boessenkool

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy

Date Written: January 6, 2016


In this article I argue, first, that government intervention to alter pure market alternatives, or to promote socially beneficial behaviours, can be justified. Second, I argue that the tax system -- including often-derided "boutique tax credits" -- is an acceptable vehicle for such intervention. I then discuss six areas where government can, and should, positively alter behaviour using the tax system: when someone (1) starts a family, (2) has children, (3) incurs costs to earn income, (4) owns a home, (5) saves for the future, or (6) improves civil society.

Keywords: Tax credits, tax deductions, tax expenditures, tax policy, tax reform, family allowances

Suggested Citation

Boessenkool, Kenneth J., Policy Forum: Kids are Not Boats (January 6, 2016). Canadian Tax Journal/Revue Fiscale Canadienne, Vol. 63, No. 4, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711758

Kenneth J. Boessenkool (Contact Author)

University of Calgary - The School of Public Policy ( email )

Calgary, Alberta

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