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ALBAS: If the one per cent are not affected by "tax fairness," is it really fair?

Dan Albas a Member of Parliament.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Dan Albas
October 01, 2017 - 12:00 PM

 


OPINION


Although the subject of the Liberal Government's contemplated “tax fairness” measures continues to dominate much of the discussion I am hearing both here in the riding and in Ottawa, it is important to not overlook the previous Conservative Government's “fairness” debate during the last Parliament.

Many may forget however, formerly both the federal public sector pension plans as well as the MP pension plan contributions were heavily subsidized by taxpayers. In a measure of pension plan fairness to taxpayers, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper made changes so that contributions to these respective pension plans would eventually become equally split at 50/50 between employees and the employer. 

Those changes were estimated to save taxpayers $2.6 Billion over a five period and are now fully in effect for 2017.

One aspect of these changes was not widely reported. The former Prime Minister also removed a special pension clause reserved exclusively for Prime Minister's. Removing this clause alone cost Mr. Harper in excess of $1 Million in future pension benefits that his predecessors still receive.

I mention this for the fact that it was revealed this week in the House of Commons that the Liberal tax changes, if implemented, will not adversely impact the personal family fortunes of either Prime Minister Trudeau or Finance Minister Morneau.

This revelation has created a significant amount of controversy, for good reason.

When millionaire families, being the real one percent of wealth, are not being impacted by “tax fairness” at the expense of small business owners, farmers, ranchers and other professionals – is that really fair?

Many small business owners and others I am hearing from strongly disagree. Ironically I am also hearing from a growing number of Liberal MP's in Ottawa who are also voicing concerns on the long term consequences this tax increase may create.

I will be in Penticton to hear your concerns about how these tax changes will impact your small business or profession this Friday September, 29th from 5pm to 7pm at the Day’s Inn and Conference Centre located at 152 Riverside Drive.

If you are unable to attend you can also email the Finance Minister at fin.consultation.fin@canada.ca to share your concerns. Please consider cc’ing my office.

My question this week relates to tax fairness.

Considering many of Canada’s wealthiest will still have access to tax mitigation strategies not impacted by these proposed tax changes, does that meet your definition of tax fairness?

I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.


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