Conservative Taxes Hammer Small Businesses

Goodale commentary: Conservative Taxes

At a time when the Harper government is promising to slash federal programs and services to fix its deficit – its self-imposed and unnecessary deficit – Conservative business tax policies are out of whack.

On the one hand, for the biggest and wealthiest corporations, Mr. Harper is going to borrow another $6 billion every year so he can cut the Large Corporation Income Tax Rate by a further three points (i.e., another 20%).

Corporate tax cuts on borrowed money (i.e., while the government is running a deficit) make no sense.

The large businesses benefiting from this Conservative largesse – at your expense – have already had their tax rates slashed recently by more than one-third. Those rates are already the second lowest in the G-7. They’re already 25% lower than US rates.

These extra tax cuts for big corporations are simply unaffordable right now, and unnecessary.

On the other hand, for small and medium-sized businesses – the ones which generate 80% of all Canadian jobs – Mr. Harper is promising only a tax increase.

At the end of this year, the Conservatives are going to increase payroll taxes by driving up Employment Insurance premiums – by a whopping 35%. These escalating Conservative EI taxes will become the fastest growing source of revenue for the Harper government.

What’s the logic in that? Just when our economy is struggling to recover from a recession, the Conservatives impose a big new tax-on-jobs. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says Conservative EI taxes “will kill jobs and undermine economic recovery”.

It doesn’t have to be this way. To help battle a previous Conservative recession that burdened this country in the early 1990’s, a new Liberal government coming into office in 1993 cut EI premiums, year-after-year, 13 consecutive times – by 40% overall.

That helped to generate 3.5 million net new Canadian jobs!

Ralph Goodale, M.P.

from John Prince
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