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Canadians say it’s time to tackle the wealth gap

Abacus poll shows support for a wealth tax has risen to nearly 90%

TORONTO – A majority of Canadians believe the pandemic made income and wealth inequality worse and 81% think now is the right time to tackle it by increasing taxes on the wealthy and large corporations, says a new survey commissioned by the Broadbent Institute and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada.

Conducted by Abacus Data, the survey shows overwhelming support for a number of tax measures, with 89% of Canadians saying that it could influence their vote.

“Canadians know things are becoming more unfair. Most think that we should take action now by raising taxes on the wealthiest and are willing to use their vote to get it,” says Katrina Miller, Program Director at the Broadbent Institute. "Political leaders should pay attention to the growing public demand to tax the rich because there has been no better time to take action on this issue.”

Key Findings

  • 57% of Canadians believe the pandemic has led to a rise in economic inequality
  • 62% describe Canada’s tax system as unfair
  • Two-thirds of Canadians think the Trudeau government hasn’t done enough
  • 64% believe Trudeau hasn’t done enough to fix the tax system
  • 66% think Trudeau hasn’t done enough to reduce economic inequality
  • 89% of Canadians want to see a wealth tax of 1% paid by the wealthiest Canadians as part of our pandemic recovery, including 82% of CPC supporters
  • Similar levels of broad political support were also expressed for closing tax loopholes, taxing excessive corporate profits booked during the pandemic, as well as higher income tax rates on large corporations and the top income bracket
  • Justin Trudeau and Jagmeet Singh are tied at 21% for which leader would do the best job at ensuring everyone pays their fair share in taxes, with O’Toole trailing at 15% and 36% of Canadians unsure

"As we enter a likely election campaign this summer and debates about how we will pay for the pandemic and recovery progress, the appeal of a tax fairness agenda is clear. It's multi-partisan, broad-based, and fairly universal," says David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.

REPORT: David Coletto, Abacus Data. Canadians Think Their Tax System Is Unfair And Support New Revenue Tools That Bring Down The Deficit And Reduce Inequality Now. 

RESEARCH: Abacus Data for the Broadbent Institute and the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada. Tax Fairness, Public Policy & Politics in Canada.