More than 12 years after retiring, I receive a fairly small BCTV STAFF pension …. with NO c.o.l.a., NO medical coverage, NO prescription assistance, NO dental plan, NO eyecare … nada! (The executives, of course, rewarded themselves with a MUCH better plan.)
In that regard, I am like MANY other retired Canadians … living on a small company pension or worse, some without even that, supplemented by CPP, OAS and some RRSP (or RRIF) savings.
And yet, despite tax deductions at source each month, Ottawa calculated I still owed them a few thousand dollars. I pulled more out of my dwindling savings … and paid.
NOW I learn that more than 40% of Canadians …. from the poor to many, many, many much RICHER than you or I (probably even putting together our annual incomes) … pay NO INCOME TAXES!!!!!
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau drew attention to just the tip of this outrage recently when he opined “low-income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes”.
But they are not alone! There are many wealthy income earners who don’t pay taxes at all either!
In fact, I’d say many low income and middle income Canadians pay MORE than their FAIR share of taxes than the RICH in terms of percentages of disposable income and what THEY have left to just survive on after all the deductions they cannot avoid.
I realize that some high income earners do contribute a large PERCENTAGE share of federal tax revenues …. but there are also many who have sizeable hidden incomes … here or offshore … or have avoided paying taxes thanks to very generous deductions and write-offs and credits THEY can take advantage of much more than ordinary Canadians.
In fact, Trudeau should have pointed out … many of the RICH don’t even pay THEIR fair share of taxes … thanks to tax loopholes designed by federal departmental accountants and bureaucrats at the request of their elected ministers and then passed by politicians in the Commons and Senate for the benefit of higher income earners.
And let’s keep it real: it’s not just low income earners who eat up a lot of government services. Don’t forget all those subsidies and free corporate advice and assistance and even funding, in grants, forgiveable loans and guarantees.
So when the federal and provincial governments need money … LOTS of it … to function, YOU and I therefore must make up for the rest.
“On average, two of every five Canadian households do not pay anything towards federally and provincially funded expenses such as health care, education, community and social services, national defence, public safety and even the good old Canada Revenue Agency. One household of every five pays much more than 70 per cent of all of those costs,” explained a piece in the Financial Post this past week.
You can read that column here: https://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/taxes/trudeau-is-right-40-of-canadians-dont-pay-income-taxes-which-means-someone-else-is-picking-up-the-bill.
The gap between Canada’s rich and the rest of us should be the MAJOR issue in the upcoming October federal election.
And what we need is not just shallow rhetoric and pandering promises but specific policies on how the middle class will finally get a fair shake.
(Follow me on Twitter @harveyoberfeld to get First Alerts of all new topics on this blog.)