The rich can pay more taxes, says writer
Due to the upcoming federal budget, I feel an overwheming need to voice my opinion on how the federal budget should protect public services and restore tax fairness. I wonder how many of your readers share my opinion on this issue?
Government bugets are about choices. Who pays how much? And where are those tax dollars invested? These choices are even tougher when governments have a deficit. That’s why I will be interested to see which choices Finance Minister Jim Flaherty makes in the upcoming budget.
The federal government plays a major role in funding important public services like healthcare, education, child care, and the Canada Pension Plan. Reducing the deficit by cutting these programs will hurt families who are already struggling to make ends meet in tough economic times. These families didn’t cause the recession or the deficit and the federal government shouldn’t punish them by cutting the social programs they need.
Since 1990, the tax rate for the richest per cent of Canadians has dropped dramatically while poorer families have seen their tax rate rise steadily. That’s because personal income tax cuts have overwhelmingly benefited the richest Canadians while the rest of us are paying more in sales, payroll and property taxes. And we are again going to see a rise in gas and food costs. At the same time the federal government has cut taxes for wealthy corporations every year for the last decade. Tax fairness has been flipped upside down in Canada.
Mr. Flaherty can reduce the deficit, invest in public services and support hard working families if he chooses to fight for tax fairness. The richest one per cent of Canadians can afford to pay more. And the big profitible banks, pharmaceutical and oil companies don’t need another $ 6 billion tax cut this year.
I hope Mr. Flaherty makes the right and smart choice. But I’m not holding my breath. It seems the only force in nature more certain that gravity is the Harper Conservatives’ desire to help their corporate friends. Vanessa Wiseman