Decision Canada 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

If you Teach a man to Fish...

The Liberals have finally come out with their education plan, just shy of a month after the Conservatives. The Liberals have focused on giving out bags of money to students – I guess they must be more trustworthy then parents (heh). Let’s compare the two plans

University/College (non-trades education)

Conservative: Tax deduction on books, which can be transferred to parents (to a maximum of $500 per year). Improvement to Student Loans, including lowering the parental contribution rates (so students can pay for their own education rather then relying on mommy and daddy). Exempting the first $10,000 dollars in scholarship or bursary income from taxation (helping those keeners who do well in school and qualify for many scholarships, plus work part-time).

Liberal: Pay half of the student’s undergraduate tuition during their first and last years, to a maximum of $3,000 per year. Expand some grants and create some new scholarships.

Ok, well, the Liberals are putting out more money for university/college. Ideologically, I’m not a huge fan of giving away a University education, but if you go for that kind of thing, the Liberals are giving more money.

Trades

Conservative: Allow for a tax exemption for purchased tools. Provide a $1000/year grant for apprentices in their first two years in an apprenticeship program. Provide a tax credit incentive for employers to create more apprenticeship positions.

Liberal: “work to increase participation in apprenticeships by making employment insurance more accessible and setting a benchmark for the number of apprenticeship graduates”.

Honestly, I’m not sure what the Liberal plan will do for people wanting to go into the trades. The Conservative plan is pretty straightforward and easy to understand.

All in all, the Conservative plan (for the most part) addresses the issues through tax incentives, whereas the Liberals hand out money. University will end up costing a bit less (probably) under the Liberal plan – I don’t necessarily think that is a good thing (devaluation of education – a bachelor’s degree is already nearly worthless in and of itself, this will make it more so; plus there is no external motivation to succeed at University when it’s being handed to you), but that’s where things stand.

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