Opposition slams PQ for health tax changes
New government backtracks on election promise to eliminate fee
Posted: Oct 11, 2012 1:15 PM ET
Last Updated: Oct 11, 2012 6:06 PM ET
Quebec’s opposition parties are lashing out at the government’s proposal to increase income taxes to make up for restructuring the province's annual health fee.
The Liberal Party and the Coalition Avenir Québec vowed to vote against the motion which the Parti Québécois says is necessary to address the resulting shortfall in the provincial budget.
On Wednesday, PQ Finance Minister Nicolas Marceau announced the flat-rate health tax would be adjusted according to people’s annual earnings, backtracking on a popular campaign promise to abolish the $200 annual fee completely.
Quebec would also hike the income tax rate for people who earn $100,000 and up, he said.
Liberal finance critic Raymond Bachand said the PQ is improvising on its promises.
''This was one of their major campaign promises and today Quebec voters have been betrayed,'' said Bachand, who is also a Liberal leadership candidate.
''I had voters come up to me and tell me they didn't vote for me because of the health tax.''
CAQ leader François Legault said his party would not support the proposed income tax increase.
“It’s not the best time to do so,” said Legault. “We are in competition with other provinces so we cannot do what we want. It’s not only a question of equity. It’s a question of competitivity.”
PQ announces progressive tax
Abolishing the health tax was one of the PQ’s most popular campaign promises, but Marceau said the his party’s limited power as a minority government is getting in the way.
Throughout the campaign, Marois said the two-year-old health tax unfairly targeted middle-class families.
The new plan announced by Marceau would see people still paying the $200 levy in their income taxes for this year.
In 2013, the rate would become a sliding scale, with someone earning $18,000 to $42,000 paying between $1 and $199. People with salaries between $42,000 and $130,000 would pay $200 a year. The rate could go as high as $1,000 for people who earn more.
Marceau said the new system will mean four million taxpayers won't pay any health tax whatsoever or will see their contribution reduced as of 2013.
The new measures will kick in for the year 2013 when Quebecers send in their tax returns in the spring of 2014.
Quebec has also decided to not increase the capital gains tax. It has also abandoned plans to reduce a tax credit on dividends.With files from The Canadian Press
Latest Montreal News Headlines
- CBC's Top Tweets: How are you dealing with the boil water advisory?
- CBC asked members of the twitterverse to share how they're dealing with the City of Montreal's boil water advisory. more »
- 1-day Quebec private daycare strike affects 25,000 kids
- Thousands of parents are finding alternate babysitting arrangements in the face of a one-day walkout by about half of the 600 private, subsidized daycares in Quebec, with the strike affecting about 25,000 kids. more »
- Aretha Franklin cancels Canadian shows
- Aretha Franklin is extending her current break and has cancelled performances for the month of June, including apperances in Montreal and Ottawa. more »
- Conrad Black defends Harper's former chief of staff
- Conrad Black tells Jian Ghomeshi of CBC's Q radio program that he doesn't believe the prime minister's former chief of staff did anything wrong by writing a personal cheque to Senator Mike Duffy for ineligible expenses. more »
Top News Headlines
- Ford ally says mayor told to limit comments on alleged crack video
- Legal advice may be behind Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's decision to stay silent in the wake of allegations he was recorded smoking what appears to be crack cocaine. more »
- Oklahoma residents begin to return home after deadly tornado
- Rescue workers raced to complete the search for survivors and the dead in the Oklahoma City suburb where a mammoth tornado destroyed countless homes, cleared lots down to bare red earth and claimed 24 lives, including those of nine children. more »
- Wednesdays with @Kady: Senate expenses questions continue
- As Ottawa waits to see whether Prime Minister Stephen Harper takes questions on the Senate expenses scandal in Peru this afternoon, CBC Politics blogger Kady O'Malley is available to answer your questions on the latest controversial developments. more »
- 'You will see him again in heaven,' Sharlene Bosma tells daughter
- Sharlene Bosma told more than 1,000 people at the public memorial service for her slain husband, Tim Bosma, about the love they shared. more »
- Over 1 million Montrealers face boil water advisory
- 'Lightly felt' earthquake west of Montreal
- Molotov cocktail targets St. Léonard business for 2nd time
- Taking a look at graffiti tagging hotspots in Montreal
- Crucifix to stay in National Assembly: Drainville
- Service restored on Montreal metro lines
- Thousands push for rejection of Bill 14
- Daniel Ratthé eager to return to CAQ caucus
- Quebecer dead in Mexico after scuba diving incident