Lack of action on tax loopholes missed opportunity to fight inequality

 

 

Ottawa – The federal budget missed an opportunity to recover up to $12 billion in tax revenue that could be invested in  needed health and social programs, contends the Broadbent Institute.

“Tax loopholes used mainly by the very wealthy are costing us billions every year,” stated Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute. “A fairer tax system that sees these loopholes closed would help us fight the inequality that’s threatening many of our communities.”

In 2015 the Liberals made an election promise to review the tax system with an eye to closing the loopholes. To date, no open and public review has taken place. As a result of inaction, the wealthiest Canadians  are sometimes paying taxes at rates below the middle class.

“Loopholes that allow for only half of income received through capital gains or employee stock options to be taxed overwhelmingly benefit the very rich,” commented Andrew Jackson, Senior Policy Adviser, Broadbent Institute. “The top one percent of individual taxpayers receive almost all of the benefit of the stock options deduction and 87.4% of the benefit of the capital gains deduction.”

The Institute also took aim at the Liberal government’s claim that it was applying a deep gender analysis to all parts of the budget.

“We appreciate the government’s efforts to create better access for women in the workforce,” said Smith, “we wished that they applied the same priority to our tax system.”

“Women tend to lose out in our tax system since they are greatly under-represented among top earners” Jackson pointed out.

“Closing tax loopholes would free up billions of dollars that could then be invested in programs that support women and other equity-seeking groups, such as universal pharmacare and affordable childcare,” commented Smith.

The Institute recently launched a campaign calling for an end to the five most egregious tax loopholes and offshore tax havens, which starve the government of up to $12 billion in revenue much needed for health and social programs.  More information can be found at:

 http://www.broadbentinstitute.ca/bandrewamofah/making_tax_fairness_a_priority

The Broadbent Institute is Canada’s leading progressive, independent organization championing change through the promotion of democracy, equality, and sustainability and the training of a new generation of leaders.

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For more information, please contact:

Katrina Miller

Program Director

Broadbent Institute

C: 647-272-5024

Kmiller@broadbentinstitute.ca