LILLEY: Does Trudeau think taxes pay themselves?
February 6, 2019
February 6, 2019 8:38 PM EST
It shouldn’t be a shock, coming from a guy that thinks budgets balance themselves.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said low income Canadians don’t pay taxes.
“The Conservatives simply don’t understand that low-income families don’t benefit from tax breaks because they don’t pay taxes,” Trudeau thundered.
The PM was responding to a question from Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre, who charged that Trudeau has hiked taxes on many Canadians and will do so again if re-elected.
It should have been an easy question for Trudeau to swat away, instead he proved a central Conservative talking point: that trust-fund Trudeau is so out of touch with the ordinary lives of Canadians that he doesn’t know that low-income Canadians pay all kinds of taxes.
From GST, to the coming carbon tax, CPP, EI and even income tax.
Someone earning just $28,000 a year in Ottawa — the equivalent of minimum wage in Ontario — will pay $4,782 in taxes.
That includes $1,998 in federal tax, $1,106 in provincial tax and $1,678 in CPP and EI premiums.
It’s an average tax rate of 11%.
Maybe ‘trust-fund Trudeau’ doesn’t get that.
Maybe for him dropping 11% of his income would be nothing, but to most of us we notice.
By the way, drop that figure to an annual income of $14,000 and you are still paying a total tax bill of $879 — most of it to the feds.
Sure, some of that will come back to the low-income taxpayer through tax credits, refunds and the like, but that only happens in April, or in quarterly installments.
Those low-income Canadians still pay taxes all year round.
Then there is the tax they pay when they buy clothes, a cup of coffee, when they fill up the gas tank or the taxes paid indirectly to ride public transit.
On Wednesday, Trudeau had the chance to back away from his ridiculous statement, but instead he attacked the Conservatives as not caring about the middle class.
Which is strange because under the Conservatives, both the middle-class and and low-income Canadians saw their fortunes improve according to a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer.
But Trudeau just wanted to bang on and on about Conservative policies instead of discussing his ridiculous and out-of-touch statement.
Maybe it is unfair for Trudeau to know what low-income Canadians do or don’t pay.
His family hasn’t needed to work since his grandfather Charles made the family fortune — mostly from a chain of gas stations in the 1930’s.
That fortune allowed Pierre Trudeau to traipse around the world before settling down to forge a career and much of that fortune — which has grown — was left to Justin in a trust fund.
The Conservatives took aim at that, especially pointing out that Trudeau had closed what he called tax loopholes for small business but hadn’t touched the tax advantage offered to trust funds.
“How much money did he save by taking advantage of the trust fund tax loophole?” Poilievre asked.
To Trudeau it was nothing but a personal attack, but in reality a valid question.
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We have a prime minister who has literally called small business owners “tax cheats” and implied most only incorporate for the tax advantages — tax advantages he tried to take away.
Shouldn’t we have a sense of the tax advantages that have helped what he himself calls his “family fortune?”
Trudeau likes to talk about helping the middle class and those working hard to join it, don’t believe the hype.
This is a man who is about to impose a new consumption tax on a large part of the country, his beloved carbon tax.
He isn’t cutting all other taxes, or any other taxes, the way Nobel prize winning economists would have done, he is simply adding to your tax bill and telling you it is good for you.
How would he know?
He’s never had to worry about a bill in his life and he thinks low income people don’t pay taxes.
Just like budgets balance themselves.
This guy has to go.