Conservatives from a riding in Calgary, the host city for the party’s convention kicking off on October 31, want to see a “less progressive” tax system. They’d do this by “reducing the number of personal income tax brackets.”
A less progressive tax system means more tax cuts for the rich and less tax revenue overall to pay for vital programs and services. Already, inequality has been worsening in Canada where the top 1% of tax-filers now receives 14% of all income, up sharply from 8% in the early 1980s. And yet, Conservatives seem to think it’s fair for the wealthiest among us to pay less.
It’s a bad idea – and an unpopular one. Canadians are concerned about the growing gap between rich and poor, and are willing to pay higher taxes to fight it. Last year, a survey on inequality found that 77 per cent of Canadians see the growing income gap as a critical issue that must be addressed. In fact, almost two-thirds of Canadians said they were willing to pay slightly more tax in order to protect social programs such as health care, post-secondary education and pensions.
If we further cut revenue with lopsided tax cuts, Canada will become even more unequal, and we’ll be unable to make investments in services we need.