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Government needs to 'step back' from tax changes, says Liberal finance chair

Changes would make tax system fairer, says Finance Minister Bill Morneau

Wayne Easter

Wayne Easter wants to see a meaningful consultation on the changes. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

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Wayne Easter, the Liberal MP who is chair of the Commons finance committee, says he is not impressed by how his own government is rolling out its proposed tax changes.

The Liberal government has proposed a number of changes focused on small businesses it says will make the tax system fairer. That includes changing how passive investments work for those companies, ending income sprinkling where revenue is distributed to family members who don't work for the company, and eliminating the ability to convert earnings to capital gains.

Many small businesses, including doctors and farmers incorporated as small business, are vocally opposing the changes.

Easter is hearing from people both for and against the changes, and he thinks some parts of the proposal need a closer look. 

"The government really needs to step back from this a bit. Let's go to the end of the consultation period, October 2nd. Let's ensure that these consultations are meaningful," he said.

"Maybe do a couple of the simpler things that were proposed, like ensuring that there isn't sprinkling of income to take undue advantage of the tax system."

Easter said some of the other issues could be sent to an expert committee to do a more comprehensive review and create a discussion paper.

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