Thursday, October 17, 2019

Election 2019 Voter Guide: Part 5

With the 2019 Federal Election fast approaching, the New Brunswick Union (NBU) and the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) have compiled a voter’s guide for our members.
This series will lay out how the party’s stand on topics such as privatization, human rights, austerity, pharmacare and income inequality, among many others.
The NBU is non-partisan, meaning we do not support any political party. What we support is our members making informed choices when it comes to the future of our country.
We hope this guide will help you understand the issues and where the party’s stand.
Part 1 of the series will dealt with austerity. Part 2 deals with Income Inequality. Part 3 looked at Labour Rights. Part 4 focused on Privatization.
Today’s edition will look at Tax Fairness.
Tax Fairness

Fair Taxes Essential for Better Public Services and Lowering Income Inequality
Whether it’s health care, education, or measures to reduce the threat of climate change, we want and need better public services. But to afford better public services, and the more equal society and stronger economy that come with them, we need a fairer tax system.
Those who claim that public services are “unaffordable” are wrong. What are unaffordable are the tax cuts, tax loopholes, and tax dodging that allow large corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying their share.

Tax Fairness Measures Would Provide over $42 Billion More for Public Services
Canadians for Tax Fairness has estimated that even relatively modest measures to improve tax fairness would increase federal government revenues by over $42 billion. These measures include reversing, or closing, some of the tax cuts and loopholes that allow large corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying their share. They also include tighter rules on tax havens and giving the Canada Revenue Agency the tools needed to go after tax avoidance and evasion by large corporations and the wealthy.

More Rhetoric than Action on Tax Fairness
While both the current Liberal government and the previous Conservative government denounced tax havens, their actions did not match their rhetoric. By cutting funding and staff from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), the Conservatives made it harder for the CRA to go after those using tax havens or other schemes to dodge taxes. The Liberals reversed some cuts, but the CRA still has less ability to go after well-heeled tax cheats than it did before the Conservative cuts.
Similarly, Canada has lagged behind European countries on introducing measures like public registries of the beneficial owners of corporations and property, which would make it easier to go after tax evasion, money laundering, and the funding of terrorism.

Track Record & Campaign Promises

Liberal
• Partially reversed Conservative cuts to the CRA.
• Continued to allow KPMG to advise on tax policy after KPMG’s involvement in a tax-dodging scheme was revealed.
• Three years after the Panama Papers leak revealed the identities of 900 Canadian individuals and corporations using tax havens, no charges have been laid.
• Introduced a 33% tax rate on people with higher incomes, but the impact was reduced by other measures” with “Will charge multinational digital companies a 3% corporate tax on revenues generated in Canada (Canadian companies pay 15%).
• Will introduce a 10% tax on cars, boats and personal aircraft over $100,000.
• Supports a registry of beneficial owners of corporations to make it harder to use tax havens, but has not committed to the registry being public (making the registry public is seen as a key step to ensuring it’s effective).

Conservative
• Made changes to personal and corporate income tax rates when they were in government that disproportionately benefited the well off.
• Cut staff and resources at the CRA, making it harder to deal with tax evasion by wealthy individuals or corporations.
• Continued to allow KPMG to advise on tax policy after KPMG’s involvement in a tax-dodging scheme was revealed.
• Supports a registry of beneficial owners of corporations to make it harder to use tax havens, but is not willing to make the registry public (making the registry public is seen as a key step to ensuring its effective).
• Will reduce the income tax rate for the first $47,630 of income, which will give the greatest benefit to those with incomes of $47,630 or more.

NDP
• Will increase corporate income tax rates from 2010 levels (from 15% to 18%).
• Will take steps to close the capital gains and stock options loopholes.
• Will introduce a 1% wealth tax on wealth over $20 million.
• Supports a public registry of beneficial owners of corporations to make it harder to use tax havens.
• Will require Netflix, Facebook, Google, and other digital media companies to pay taxes on their activities in Canada.
• Will make it harder to use tax havens by eliminating bearer shares, by requiring companies prove the economic reason for offshore transactions, and by improving transparency on taxes paid by large corporations.

Green Party
• Will increase corporate income tax rates to 2008 levels (from 15% to 19.5%).
• Will eliminate personal income taxes on incomes below the low-income cut-off.
• Will increase taxes on alcohol, tobacco, and junk food.
• Will look at taxing Canadian revenues of foreign-owned digital companies.
• Will go after money in tax havens.