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Federal budget should protect public services and restore tax fairness


Cancel the corporate tax cuts: Federal budget should protect public services and restore tax fairness

Chris Cormier

Belleville Intelligencer Letter to the Editor


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Government budgets 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 federal budget.

The federal government plays a major role in funding important public services like health care, 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 total tax rate for the richest one 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.

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 profitable banks, pharmaceutical and oil companies don't need another $6 billion dollar 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 than gravity is the Harper Conservatives desire to help their corporate friends.

Chris Cormier