Broadbent think-tank wants more 'wealth redistribution'

A left-wing think-tank led by former NDP leader Ed Broadbent says greater "wealth redistribution" is needed to battle income inequality in Canada.

The Broadbent Institute says the growing gap between the rich and the poor became the "defining political issue of our time" after the Occupy movement swept across North America last fall.

In response, the think-tank proposes raising corporate taxes, the creation of "good jobs" - employment with high labour standards and environmental protections - and expanding public services.

"Higher tax rates for very high-income earners are likely the most effective way to deal with the fact that the incomes of the top 1% are rising at the expense of everybody else," the report says. "Top tax rates today are certainly much lower than they were 20 years ago."

Broadbent's institute also argues Canada is currently moving backwards because for "every $1 increase in national earnings over the past 20 years, more than 30 cents have gone to the top 1%, while 70 cents have had to be shared among the bottom 99%."

Broadbent, who has also narrated a YouTube video on the topic, says societies with greater income inequality are generally more violent, less healthy and less prosperous.

The NDP built its election platform on the assumption that a higher corporate tax rate would bring in billions in additional revenue. Conservatives argue lower corporate rates attract foreign investors and create jobs.