The hidden secret in yesterday's pre-election mini-budget by Federal Finance Minister Paul Martin was billions in corporate tax reductions, the AFL points out today. Despite the crowings of the Finance minister, the reality of yesterday's announcement is that corporations will be receiving a bigger tax break than Canadian families from the Liberals as they head into a snap election next week.
"While Paul Martin was bragging about tax cuts for Canadians, under the table he was quietly slipping corporations a massive tax cut - one even larger than Canadian families receive," says Audrey Cormack, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
"The Liberal government's real priorities are surviving the next six weeks, not setting sound policy for the next few years."
"According to the government's own figures, corporate tax rates will be dropping 35% by 2004-05," observes Cormack. "The average tax break for families is 21%."
Cormack pointed out that while the personal tax rate will only be dropping between 6% and 10%, corporate tax rates are being slashed 25%. The cut in the Capital Gains inclusion rate from two-thirds to one-half will amount to billions more in corporate profits going untaxed.
"The cut in the capital gains tax is the move that makes the least sense. It is multi-billion dollar freebie to speculators, the big banks and large corporations with no public policy rationale," Cormack observes. "No one was calling for this cut, and it make absolutely no economic sense."
Cormack says she was looking for more financial support for important people programs - health care and education. "The mini-budget virtually ignored the real priorities of working Canadians." However, Cormack points out that the creation of a fourth tax bracket - a rate of 29% above income of $100,000 - is a positive move, as it restores more progressivity in the tax system. This positive move is unfortunately nullified by the elimination of the Deficit Reduction Surtax on incomes over $100,000.
"The federal Liberals are spinning a tale that they are the friends of working families. However their Bay Street membership cards are showing in the back pockets. And it shows when you take a close look at their policy." Cormack concludes.
For more information call:
Audrey M. Cormack, President at 499-6530 (cell) or 428-9367 (hm)