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Harper promises a $2.5B tax break for families

TORONTO, On. – The first few promises were made on the federal election campaign trail, with party leaders talking tax breaks, transit and ethics on Monday.

Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff told Torontonians transit is a priority, while Conservative leader Stephen Harper promised a $2.5-billion tax break for families.

There is a catch, though. The tax break wouldn’t come into effect until the budget is balanced by 2015. Harper said spouses with children under 18 would be able to divide their household incomes up to $50,000 in order to fall into lower tax brackets.

“[They will] save an average of $1300 per year,” he said.

Harper kept referring to the opposition as the “Liberal-led coalition” and told a crowd in British Columbia that Michael Ignatieff would only hurt hardworking families.

“For instance, they’ve always wanted to take back $100 per month and use it for government daycare,” he said.

Canada’s social democratic party leader Jack Layton took his campaign to Saskatchewan, which is now a Conservative stronghold. Layton put the focus on Stephan Harper’s accountability.

“Stephen Harper was elected on a promise to fix what was wrong in Ottawa. He said he would make healthcare a priority. We’ve heard virtually nothing about that for five years,” Layton said.

The NDP is desperately trying to win back seats in that province after it lost 13 to the Conservatives.

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