Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Please sir, can I have a tax break?

Who knew that Paul Martin's Canada had something in common with Victorian England? On Friday, Finance Minister Ralph Goodale treated taxpayers just like Oliver Twist, working them to the bone, doling out barely a dollop of tax relief and expecting gratitude (read votes) in return. He tabled the Surplus Allocation Act, whereby the federal government promises to "give back" one-third of any future surpluses remaining at the end of the year. That is, if the surplus exceeds the $3-billion contingency set in the budget every year. The remaining two-thirds will go to new spending and to pay down Canada $496-billion national debt.

At a time when taxes consume close to half of the average family's income, when Canadians work from Jan. 1 to June 25 just to pay the tax man (Tax Freedom day arrives on June 26), and when the government is awash in gas tax and GST revenue, the Surplus Allocation Act is little more than a pre-election gimmick and an insult to taxpayers, plain and simple. Since the budget was balanced in 1998, Ottawa has amassed multi-billion dollar surpluses. But instead of returning that money to taxpayers, the Liberals would rather keep on collecting it so they can dole it out as they see fit.

What's wrong with rebating taxes based on future surpluses? Let us count the ways.



Chad Moats said...

A couple of things. First, I don't think the average Canadian pays half is income in taxes,where did you get that stat.
Secondly, When exactly is Corporate Tax Freedom Day ? Isn't it in January ?

John Murney said...

Good column, David.

Serge Rouleau said...

Excellent column. Leaving surpluses in the hands of politicians is like leaving the candy bag to a bunch of five year olds. They just cannot stop eating the whole bag.
I cannot understand why so many Canadians and particularly Québecers do not get it, more taxes = more waste not more services.

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