“I want to be clear,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said at the Liberal party’s recent caucus gathering in Kelowna. “People who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year.”
Trudeau was defending the government’s proposed small business tax changes, which would eliminate such practices as business owners paying themselves dividends, sprinkling income among family members, or holding certain investments — such as real estate — through a corporation.
These proposed changes have touched off a firestorm of protest from small business owners — and Liberal MPs are feeling the heat. So the PM and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are attempting to douse the flames by talking up “tax fairness” — something they figure most Canadians would agree upon. After all, taxation is supposed to be progressive — the more you make, the more you pay, right?
But that’s where they’re actually dead wrong.
What matters isn’t how much you make. What matters is how much you take home — after expenses are factored in. For some professionals, these expenses are considerable. Doctors pay overhead, staff salaries (like Mr. Trudeau, they need someone to answer the phone) and other operating expenses. Female doctors even finance their own maternity leaves — a rich irony, given how this PM prides himself on creating policy through a lens of gender equity.
“You move the goal posts in the middle of the game,” Dr. Anita Sana recently told Trudeau, “and expect me somehow to be able to plan for my retirement, plan for maternity leave — which I will not be able to afford at this time — and I’m having to choose between having a family and being able to actually practise as a physician.”
Take-home pay also has to include the benefits received by workers — which, particularly if they are unionized, can be considerable, even for people in the middle of the income scale. Independent professionals don’t get any of these — a fact which makes Trudeau’s numbers game even more disingenuous.
Read the full article on iPolitics.