The House

Morneau working on fixing controversial tax changes

Canada's finance minister has returned to the drawing board to fix some aspects of his controversial tax changes proposals. But Bill Morneau says his resolve to push for a "fairer" tax system hasn't been affected by weeks of sometimes harsh criticism.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, Sept.28, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)
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Canada's finance minister has returned to the drawing board to fix some aspects of his controversial tax changes proposals.

But Bill Morneau says his resolve to push for a "fairer" tax system hasn't been affected by weeks of sometimes harsh criticism. 

"I've see through this process that when you introduce perspective tax changes, people can get riled up," Morneau told The House.

Even if he claims his resolve is the same, the finance minister now admits changes our needed.

"Changes are going to be required — as we move forward we will have more information on timing," Morneau said in an interview after facing questions in the Senate this week.

Those changes will be based on five principles:

  • Support small businesses.
  • Keep small business taxes low while supporting owners who invest and create jobs.
  • Avoid creating unnecessary red tape for small businesses.
  • Recognize the importance of family farms, and ensure tax changes do not affect the transfer of family businesses to the next generation.
  • Ensure any changes to the tax system promote gender equity.

The details are still being worked out.

"We have some ideas in how we can get at some of these things, not things that we've finished with yet," he told The House.

"There were things we heard in each area and we are taking those issues into account to make sure we move forward, but we move forward without unintended consequences."

When the government launched its consultation over the proposed changes in the summer it argued the tax system is unfair because it encourages wealthy professionals and business owners to incorporate to pay lower taxes.

The finance minister explains what changes he's currently working on. 13:00

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