Monday September 11, 2017
'A system that works for all Canadians': Finance Minister Bill Morneau defends tax plan
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- September 11, 2017 Full Episode Transcript
- Full Episode
In July, Finance Minister Bill Morneau announced his government plans to close so-called "tax loopholes."
The proposed changes come as part of the Liberals' election promise to make taxes fairer — and prevent wealthy individuals who set up private corporations from paying a lower rate.
But opposition has been mounting from all sorts of Canadians — from doctors and lawyers, to farmers and shop owners.
Critics say the tax plan hurts the very middle class the government claims to want to help — creating a class warfare.
"We respond to those critics by saying that we're out to achieve a system that works for all Canadians," Finance Minister Bill Morneau tells The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.
He points to the growth of Canada's economy, going up over the last decade with a "huge amount of job growth."
"It's not good enough if all Canadians don't get access to that. So if we're creating advantages only for a few, it actually isn't going to help the overall economy because it's not going to engage everybody in the success story."
After hearing from Morneau speaking to Tremonti on The Current, Conservative Party deputy leader Lisa Raitt says the tax plan sounds like a solution to fix the Liberal's spending problem.
"This to me is a case where they've spent the money and now they have to figure out how to get that from the Canadian public and this is the tax measures that they're putting in ... going after small business," she explains.
"I'm not in favour of increasing taxes just to make up for the deficits that the Liberals are running up," Raitt says.
But she suggests taking money out of the Treasury could be a manageable solution.
As for the people who believe they have escaped taxes associated with dividends or stock options with this plan, Raitt warns think again.
"I wouldn't relax if I were you because it sounds like they're coming back. They haven't backed away from it, they've just put it on hold for a moment," she explains.
"So it's just more ways for the Liberals to continue to tax with massive, massive effects both on small business, professionals, farmers — it's very distressing."
In principle, NDP finance critic Alexandre Boulerice says any measure making Canada's tax system fairer and more equitable is welcome.
"But what is quite interesting right now is that the Liberals are targeting small businesses and professionals, and they are doing nothing with the one per cent — the super rich," Boulerice tells Tremonti.
He says that Morneau not backing down or pushing forward on the stock option loophole, "proved that we are not targeting the friends of Bay Street and the big CEOs of this country."
Listen to the full segment near the top of this web post.
This segment was produced by The Current's Kristin Nelson and Willow Smith.