The minority status of Stephen Harper’s Conservative government in Canada means that it hasn’t been able to be as radical as some would have liked, particularly on curtailing government spending. Having spent some time in Ottawa meeting various strategists we’ll post our AtoZ of the Canadian Conservatives tomorrow.

In the meantime we’d like to draw your attention to one of their most interesting policy strategies.

The government has offered tax relief for families whose children sign up for regular physical activity, and given tax credits to the nation’s long-haul truck drivers to cover 80% of the cost of their lunches. These are examples of targeted, tangible tax breaks that – whilst depressing simple tax advocates – have proven extremely effective politically.

Some Canadian parents don’t know of or understand major reforms in the administration of tax, but they do know that if they make the effort to drive little Jimmy to the local ice hockey club twice a week the government will let them keep a bit more of their money (even if it only adds up to a maximum of $80 a year). The army of truck-drivers that keep the raw materials driven economy rolling love the fact the government have done something just for them.

Where would you target tax relief in the UK?

Deputy Editor

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