North

Michael McLeod clarifies promise to increase Northern Residents Deduction

Northwest Territories Liberal candidate Michael McLeod is dialing back on a campaign promise to increase the Northern Residents Deduction, following the release of the Liberal Party's full platform today.

McLeod originally promised 50 per cent increase to tax credits, Liberal platform promises 33 per cent increase

Michael McLeod speaks to supporters after being named the Liberal Party's candidate for the N.W.T. riding in Yellowknife Saturday. On Monday, McLeod's office revised a campaign pledge made last week, confirming that a Liberal government would increase the Northern Residents Deduction by 33 per cent, not 50 per cent as originally promised. (N.W.T. Liberal Association)

Northwest Territories Liberal candidate Michael McLeod is dialing back on a campaign promise to increase the Northern Residents Deduction, following the release of the Liberal Party's full platform today.

In a press release issued last week, McLeod promised to increase the residency component of the Northern Residents Deduction by 50 per cent. However, the Liberal Party's final platform promises a 33 per cent increase, up to a maximum of $22 per day, as well as indexing the benefit so it keeps pace with inflation.

Currently, the Northern Residents Deduction — which is aimed at alleviating the high cost of living in Canada's North — provides tax credits of up to $16.50 per day, and does not increase with inflation.

According to McLeod's campaign manager, Kieron Testart, McLeod's promise was "revised" after speaking with their national party headquarters. 

Testart told CBC that after learning more about other tax incentives that will affect N.W.T. residents, including the party's pledge to provide a national child-care benefit, McLeod now believes a 33 per cent increase is sufficient.

Testart added that while the increase is less than what was originally promised by McLeod, it still represents a total increase of about $50 million in tax breaks to Northerners.

The difference between McLeod's original pledge and the current Liberal promise represents a maximum difference of $2.75 per day, or just over $1,000 per resident.​

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