Budget 2017 explicitly recognizes income inequality as a concern but does virtually nothing to solve the problem.
Rather than taking a bite out of the juicy tax loopholes that unfairly benefit the richest Canadians, the Trudeau government has offered up only a few stale crumbs. Despite significant public attention, and overwhelming support for action, Budget 2017 completely ignores the inequitable tax treatment of stock options, capital gains and dividends, which are only available to the richest Canadians and which – every year – deprive the federal government of billions of dollars that could be spent to improve the lives of Canadians. With respect to the misreporting of personal income under private corporations, the budget contains only a vague commitment for further study. As a consequence, the federal government’s revenues as a percent of GDP are projected to remain flat through 2022, meaning necessary and valuable social program spending will not occur. In the area of income inequality, the Trudeau government has acknowledged the problem but refused to take action on a solution. Once again, the poorest and most vulnerable Canadians have been told to stand at the back of the line while the richest Canadians continue to unfairly benefit at the expense of the majority.
Statement by Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute, regarding Budget 2017