Jim Harris and the Green Party will reform the tax system so that our urge to pay less in taxes is aligned with our need for a more sustainable lifestyle. This is the essence of the green tax shift — make payrolls less expensive and resources more expensive so the market will create more jobs and less waste. Lowering taxes on income is one of the best ways to support job creation. The Green Party will reduce the marginal tax rate on the lowest federal tax bracket to give Canadians a tax cut of $3.5 billion.
A Green government will maintain the current plan for reducing corporate income taxes to encourage reinvestment. They will revise the corporate capital tax to allow a tax cut for businesses with progressive social and environmental practices. They will phase in tax increases on CO2 and health damaging emissions, moving toward a full-cost accounting of these harmful pollutants. They will phase out subsidies that encourage waste and unsustainable business practices. These taxes will be a step toward a healthier economy, the creation of “green collar” jobs and meeting Kyoto targets.
The Green Party will use half the revenue from pollution taxes to decrease income taxes — one quarter for efficiency-increasing tax breaks and one quarter toward industry initiatives that reduce fuel consumption.
For more information or to view the Green Party platform in its entirety, please visit their website at www.greenparty.ca
Paul Martin’s Liberal government will decide by this year-end on a plan to provide, for the benefit of municipalities, a share of the federal gas tax (or its financial equivalent). Beginning in 2005, the amount will be ramped up within the next five years to 5 cents per litre, or at least $2 billion. This revenue will be a source of stable, predictable funding so that municipalities can make long-term financial commitments to undertake major new infrastructure projects. The Liberals will ensure that an equitable share of funds is available both for large cities and smaller municipalities.
A Liberal government believes Canadians understand that a strong economy is the essential underpinning of a successful society. A government led by Paul Martin will not allow that foundation to be undermined. A Liberal government will invest in the fundamental drivers of economic performance – human skills, research and its commercial application, public infrastructure, and competitive taxes.
They will continue to use prudent fiscal planning and maintain a Contingency Reserve of $3 billion to ensure the budget remains in balance. The Liberals will also reduce the federal government’s debt ratio to 25% within a decade. This will ensure that our children are not burdened by public debt and will give government more flexibility to manage the challenges arising from of an aging population. To that end, the annual Contingency Reserve, if not needed, will be applied to reduce debt.
For more information about the Liberal Party platform, visit their website at www.liberal.ca
A Conservative government will control government spending and pay down the national debt. They will cut wasteful corporate subsidies in order to reduce taxes for all businesses and invest in research and development, especially medical and scientific research. The Conservatives will support Canada’s farmers, fishers, and forestry workers.
A Conservative government led by Stephen Harper will raise thresholds for all tax brackets. They will phase out the 22 percent tax bracket on taxable income between $35K and $70K. All other brackets will be raised at one percent above the inflation rate. A taxpayer earning $50,000 per year will save about $1,000 per year on his or her taxes when the cut is fully implemented.
The Conservatives will negotiate a transfer of at least 3 cents of federal fuel excise tax to the provinces through a national infrastructure agreement. It will phase out the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund and other federally run infrastructure programs, while retaining the Border Infrastructure Program. This will enhance federal infrastructure such as airports, ports, and the National Highway System.
Stephen Harper’s government will allow Canadians to contribute up to $5000 per year to a Registered Lifetime Savings Plan. They will take a prudent approach to budgeting that keeps spending growth under control, and will introduce a legislated debt repayment plan that sets a target debt-to-GDP ratio.
A Conservative government will immediately ask the Auditor General to review all granting programs – including grants and subsidies to businesses. Based on the results of this review they will seek to eliminate $4 billion per year in subsidies to business. As savings are generated, they will be redirected to reduce or eliminate taxes on business, including eliminating the $12 Air Security Tax and the Capital Tax as well as reducing Capital Gains Taxes and business tax rates for all businesses, including small business.
The Conservatives will increase the size of the GST Tax Credit by 25 percent. They will axe the Tax on Tax by removing the GST from the federal excise tax on gasoline, eliminating the GST portion of gas prices above 85 cents.
For more information about the Conservative Party platform, please visit their website at www.conservative.ca
Jack Layton and Canada’s NDP will guarantee full indexing of tax brackets and credits, so that Canadians don’t receive hidden tax increases as wages and salaries rise. They will ensure all Canadians who make less than $15,000 a year pay no federal income tax. The NDP will remove the GST from family essentials, starting with children’s clothing and medicine, school supplies, books, magazines, women’s hygiene products, and medical equipment.
A New Democrat government will increase the Child Tax Benefit to $4,900 per child and alter the program to permit Canada’s poorest families, who don’t pay tax, to qualify. They will make the disability tax credit and medical expenses tax credit fully refundable. They will also abolish the security fees applied to air travel and implement a US-style inheritance tax on inheritances of more than $1 million, exempting in-family transfers of small businesses and family farms.
The NDP will treat income from capital gains the same as all employment income while retaining exemptions for the sale of principal residences and profits from family farms and small businesses. They will reverse corporate tax reductions, recognizing that Canadian corporate taxes are now well below US corporate tax levels. The New Democrats will impose hefty fines for polluters that match the clean-up costs (the polluter-pay principle). They will also freeze EI premium rates at current levels, a measure that will especially help small businesses, which employ more than half of all Canadians.
Jack Layton’s government will cancel all tax treaties with tax havens like Barbados. They will end the practice of letting corporations deduct fines for environmental infractions or unsafe workplaces from their taxes. They will also close corporate and very high income tax loopholes like the one that let a prominent Canadian family move $2 billion out of Canada through trust accounts and never pay a cent of income tax on the transaction.
For more information about the New Democratic Party platform, please visit their website at www.ndp.ca