By Blaine Calkins
June 14 was Tax Freedom Day, the day Canadians paid off the taxes owed to government and started working for themselves. This year, Tax Freedom Day came 11 days earlier than in 2005 because of the federal Conservative government’s strong economic plan. A typical working family is better off today by almost $3,500 per year than when we took office in 2006. Our Government has reduced taxes on individuals and businesses by almost $200 billion for 2007-2008 and the following five years. Here are some of the measures which are especially helpful in reducing the tax burdens of Canadians and their families: · Reducing the goods and services tax rate to five per cent from seven per cent;
· Permanently reducing the lowest personal income tax rate to 15 per cent from 16 per cent; · Introducing income splitting for pensioners to increase the returns from retirement saving;
Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion admitted that he would increase the GST if his party formed the government. Now, he is trying to sell a brand new, never-before-seen in Canada kind of taxation – a carbon tax. The Liberal Leader wants Canadians to believe that this carbon tax, this tax trick, will be revenue neutral. The plan will not be revenue neutral because everyone pays and few people will benefit. Every carbon tax imposed in Europe has hit gas prices hard. The provincial carbon taxes imposed in Quebec and in BC hit gas prices hard too. These hidden costs are passed onto consumers who always end up paying more. Mr. Dion is promising to almost triple the tax on diesel. This will increase the cost of everything transported by truck or train – including essential items like food, clothing and gasoline. Electricity and home heating fuel prices are also slated to go up and the increase in the price of jet fuel will make it even more expensive to visit relatives or plan a family vacation. Under the Liberal plan, oil producers will be taxed on the fossil fuels they use to refine, process and transport their gas. Who will pay for their losses? You will, every time you fill up your car. When manufacturers are taxed on the electricity they need to produce their goods, consumers will have to pay for the losses with every product they buy. How many days do you think Tax Freedom Day would be pushed back if Mr. Dion is given a chance to bring in his reckless spending promises and proposed tax increases? We have a choice. We can move forward together – helping families and seniors at a time of rising prices – or we can impose a permanent new tax on everything that will destroy jobs and drive up the cost of gas, electricity and everything else people buy.