Saturday, May 28, 2011

Harperites Tax Policies Aggravate Gap Between rich and Poor

Toronto Star The full story

In addition to the weaknesses noted below in Les Whittington piece, one could also ask how effective is an accelerated reduction of the federal debt in creating jobs for Canadians? Since the Harperites are already shrinking tax revenues through the measures outlined below, wouldn't a focus on job creation combined with a modest pace in reducing the federal deficit be more prudent? People who work pay taxes and businesses who employ them also pay taxes. Many Harperite candidates in the recent election claimed publicly that jobs in and of themselves and the economy as it relates to jobs were the big issues at the door. If that is so, where indeed IS the focus on jobs, the heart of any economy?

"According to Toronto research agency Investor Economics, the richest 3.8 per cent of Canadian households controlled 66.6 per cent of all financial wealth (not counting real estate) by 2009, up from 60.6 per cent in 2005, just before Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government came to power. Looking ahead, the agency predicts the portion of financial wealth controlled by this richest group of Canadians is headed for 70 per cent by 2018.

And some analysts say the economic strategies being pursued by a re-elected Harper will only make matters worse, leading to a further expansion of the income gap between the very rich and others in Canada.

The crux of the issue concerns the Conservatives’ plan to continue implementing corporate income tax cuts and to eventually bring in other tax breaks, such as expanding deposits in Tax-Free Savings Accounts and allowing two-income couples with children younger than 18 to split their income for federal tax purposes.

While these measures have been promoted as ways of creating jobs or helping average Canadians, some economists say the benefits to the rich from these tax breaks will far outweigh anything seen by other members of society."

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