Is Jim Flaherty sticking it to Stephen Harper on family income splitting?

Updated Feb. 12

What to make of Jim Flaherty musing that Stephen Harper's promise to bring in family income splitting needs a serious rethink?

Just before tabling the federal budget, Flaherty told Global's The West Block with Tom Clark on Sunday that opponents of the proposal "might be right" and the idea requires a "fulsome discussion" over the next year. That's because "there are some people who benefit and lots of people who don’t in that world of income splitting."

On Wednesday, less than 24 hours after confirming the budget will be balanced in 2015-16 (the criterion to make good on the family income splitting promise), Flaherty again criticized the plan.

"I’m not sure that overall it benefits our society," Flaherty told reporters in his first post-budget press conference, saying the policy "needs a very hard analytical look."

It sure does. An analysis shows the Conservative plan is skewed heavily in favour of the wealthiest, with the vast majority of families (86%) receiving no benefit at all.

Here are some numbers about the $3 billion Mad Men giveaway for Flaherty's colleagues to chew on: