In a recent Abacus poll, 80 per cent of Canadians agree with a wealth tax but, so far, the Liberals have failed to act
OTTAWA – During the past year when so many everyday Canadians, small businesses and workers across the country struggled financially, Canada’s billionaires increased their wealth by $78 billion. Instead of imposing a wealth tax to help Canadians recover from the pandemic, the Liberals gave multinational corporations and the ultra-wealth a free pass in budget 2021.
“In the last year, Canadians lost their jobs or saw their pay cheques cut in half because of reduced hours while huge corporations made record profits during the pandemic. Budget 2021 was an opportunity for the Liberal government to tax the very richest in our county so hardworking Canadians can get the support they desperately need,” said NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. “This budget was about choices and the Liberals chose to side with the ultra-rich –not with everyday Canadians. New Democrats will keep fighting to make multinational corporations and the ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.”
The gap between the super rich and the average person grew sharply during the past year. According to an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 47 Canadian billionaires now control $270 billion in total wealth while 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their jobs or had more than half of their hours cut at the pandemic’s peak.
“It completely defies logic that the government isn’t asking massive corporations who made billions of dollars in profit to contribute to our country’s economic recovery,” said NDP finance critic Peter Julian. “How can the government look Canadians who are having trouble paying their rent and putting food on the table in the face? The government trotted out a paltry tax on luxury items in this budget but they aren’t showing the political courage to do what’s necessary – put a wealth tax on the ultra-rich.”
While the Liberals failed to put in place a wealth tax, Budget 2021 shows that they continue to allow corporations to hide their money in offshore tax havens to avoid paying their fair share.
“The independent Parliamentary Budget Officer has said there is more than $25 billion of tax money that goes to off-shore tax havens every year. That’s money that should be used to improve the lives of all Canadians. That tax revenue could be going toward a national pharmacare program, dental coverage for families or affordable housing across the country. While the Liberals continue to side with multinational corporations and the ultra-wealthy, New Democrats are going to continue to push for a fairer, more equitable society for everyday Canadians,” added Julian.
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