How significant is inequality in Canada? According to the Conference Board of Canada the top one per cent now has 14% of the income up sharply from 8% in the 1980’s. According to the OECD 37% of the income growth since the 1980’s has gone to the top one percent. Incredibly, two Canadian billionaires have the same net worth as the bottom 11 million of Canadians.
It is clear that our tax system is unfair. It’s time for leadership that challenges the status quo. It is time for a tax system that recognizes the growing inequality of wealth and income and ensures that the wealthiest Canadians pay their fair share.
As leader of Canada’s NDP, I would work to:
Raise income taxes on the wealthiest Canadians by introducing two new tax brackets that increase rates slightly on the top 5% and more steeply on the top 1%. Those making over $120 000.00 will see a graduated increase. As well, we will introduce a new tax bracket for income over $300,000, set at 38% (up from 33%). These increases for those in the top 5% of income will ensure we all pay a fair share to support our communities. Revenue generated: $4.5 billion.
Treat capital gains the same as wage income for tax purposes. Eliminate the 50% tax exemption on investment income for individuals (and corporations). Revenue generated: $10 billion.
Tax windfall real estate profits at the top by introducing a $1 million lifetime cap on the capital gains exemption for principal residences and a 10% surtax on capital gains from non-principal residences. This will slow real estate speculation while protecting the savings held by working and middle class families in their homes. Revenue generated: $1.5 billion.
Crack down on tax evasion. Give the CRA the resources it needs to fight corporate and white collar tax evasion. Revenue generated: $1.5 billion.
Double the GST/HST Tax Credit. Increasing progressivity in our tax system means not only asking the richest to pay a little more, it also means expanding benefits for those living at the middle and lower end of the scale. There would also be a larger credit for those living in northern communities to help with high cost of living. Cost: $5 billion.
Expand disability benefits by replacing the non-refundable Disability Tax Credit with a refundable Canada Disability Benefit more generous to those on lower incomes. Cost: $1 billion.
Expand benefits to seniors by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) for single seniors and couples. Cost: $2 billion
We were promised that cutting taxes on corporations would mean greater investment, job creation and growth for the economy. Instead, growth has slowed, wages are stagnant for most and corporations are stockpiling cash. My plan for making corporations pay their fair share will generate $20 billion in new revenue for public services.
As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will work to:
Raise corporate taxes to 21% for large corporations. Revenue generated: $9 billion.
Tax the big banks through the introduction of a Financial Activities Tax (FAT) of 5% paid by the big banks on their profits and bankers’ bonuses. Revenue generated: $5 billion.
Eliminate subsidies for fossil fuel corporations. Revenue generated: $1.5 billion.
Close tax loopholes. Eliminate loopholes that benefit corporations and the wealthy, including the CEO stock option loophole, the corporate meals and entertainment deduction, the abuse of small business tax by wealthy families, the price-transfer loophole, untaxed e-commerce profits and more. Revenue Generated: $4.5 billion.
Our current tax system does not address wealth inequality. Many progressive wealth tax measures that have been successful in other countries can also work in Canada. My plan to address wealth inequality will generate $9.5 billion in new revenue.
As leader of Canada’s NDP, I will work to:
Introduce a progressive wealth tax on millionaires and billionaires. This measure would put a tax of 1% on assets of those with a net worth of $1 million, progressively rising to 1.5% for those with a net worth of $10 million or more. The value of principal residences will be exempt to protect the working and middle class. This kind of tax has proven successful in France, Spain and Norway. Revenue generated: $3 billion.
Introduce an estate tax. Inheritances over $4 million will be taxed at 45%. When multi-millionaires can pass on their entire fortunes, inequality becomes entrenched. Canada is the only country in the G7 that does not have an estate tax. Revenue generated: $2 billion.
Cap TFSA and RRSP contributions. TFSA contributions will be capped at $2,500 annually (down from $5,000) and $50,000 over lifetime (those who exceed it when implemented will be allowed to keep the higher amount). RRSP contributions will be capped at $20,000 annually. These Harper-era tax breaks were portrayed as an incentive to save, but the reality is that these tax breaks only benefit who can afford maximum contributions. Revenue generated: $1 billion.
Introducing a “Robin Hood Tax” on Bay Street. Financial transactions are currently exempt from sales tax. It’s time to introduce a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) of 0.5% on purchases of stocks. This will reduce speculation, increase stability in financial markets and incentivize productive investment. Revenue generated: $3.5 billion.