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CTF Fact Check: NDP Lowballs Daycare Plan Costs

October 07, 2015
CTF Fact Check: NDP Lowballs Daycare Plan Costs
  • Based on Quebec experience, NDP election proposal for a national government-run daycare system underestimates costs by $1.3 billion annually
  • Quebec system costs have increased by 700 per cent since 1997, while total spaces have only increased by 166 per cent
  • Comparison with other provinces also suggests female workforce participation rates may be attributable to other factors

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today released a fact check of the cost of the NDP’s promise to introduce a national government-run daycare system, finding that the proposed plan left a $1.3 billion annual funding shortfall.

“Quebec’s $7 a day childcare program is incredibly expensive for taxpayers,” said CTF Federal Director Aaron Wudrick. “What our analysis found is that even jumping the parental cost to $15 a day still leaves a massive hole in the NDP’s daycare cost estimates.”

The NDP have budgeted an average of $4,833 per childcare space per year, far short of the $12,465 per childcare space (combined government and parental) cost in Quebec. Even factoring in a higher parental contribution of $15 per day, the NDP plan comes up $3,882 per childcare space short.

“Someone will have to fill this gap,” continued Wudrick. “Whether it’s provincial taxpayers, federal taxpayers or hiking the parental contribution, but it will have to get filled somehow.”

In addition to funding shortfall, the fact check identifies several other concerns, including a 700 per cent increase in the cost of the Quebec system despite an increase in spaces of just 166 per cent.

“We also found that the oft-cited claim of increased female workforce participation rates may be a classic case of conflating correlation with causation,” continued Wudrick. “A comparison to several other provinces with no equivalent daycare system shows a nearly identical trend in increasing female workforce participation rates over the same period.”

The CTF’s Fact Check: NDP Lowballs Daycare Plan Costs authored by London School of Economics grad and PhD candidate Vincent Geloso can be found HERE.

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