Toronto – December 4, 2018 – Every so often there is talk from governments and political leaders on the campaign trail about a need to gut public services and programs to deal with issues of debt in order to grow the economy. This is usually followed by tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. It is those most in need who suffer from these cuts to services and programs while wealthy families and corporations always seem to benefit from the tax cuts.
In Ontario, Doug Ford’s government has been quick to institute a number of significant cuts to things like the minimum wage and increases for those on disability and welfare. Not to mention the elimination of vital rent controls that help those on lower incomes – an elimination that will lead to financial boon for wealthy developers while making it even more difficult for low income owners to find an affordable place to live. Meanwhile, Ford’s government enacts further corporate tax cuts and eliminates a surtax on the wealthiest Ontarians – providing them with a tax break to the tune of $300 million.
In Alberta, a United Conservative Party (UCP) MLA has already warned that if they form government, the cuts to education and health care are “going to hurt.” At the same time, UCP Leader Jason Kenney is vowing to return the province to a flat tax where all Albertans, regardless of income would pay the same 10% provincial income tax rate – a plan which would create a $700 million tax cut for Albertans who make over $300,000 a year. Kenney is also promising to cut the increase in corporate taxes made by the current NDP government.
Even Ottawa is getting in on the act. When the Panama Papers were released last year, it exposed how the wealthiest corporations and individuals were using tax havens to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. A recent auditors report revealed that the Canada Revenue Agency was much more vigorous in chasing down regular taxpayers while going easier on wealthy tax cheats. Despite the current Liberal government promising to take action on tax loopholes during the last election, they have not done so and the wealthy still get away from not paying their fair share on stock options and hiding their money overseas. And while Canadians continue to face a housing crisis, a lack of affordable childcare spaces and outrageous prescription drug costs, the federal government announced in their fall economic statement that they were delivering another $14 billion tax break for the country’s wealthy corporations.
Instead of using our tax dollars to make life more affordable for those in need, our tax dollars always seem to end up in the pockets of our country’s wealthiest families and corporations.