January 11, 2009

Tax Comparisons & No More Tax Cuts – PLEASE

By admin

Here I am, a typical middle-class dude with lots to lose and I’m begging the so-called leaders of my federal government to avoid the Harpie-like calls for tax relief for businesses and on the personal level.

Why?  Because our social infrastructure will come to a drastic and complete failure if we do.

Mel Hurtig doees comparisons of tax rates for corporations and for personal income across the globe as research for his book, The Truth About Canada .

Last week, I received a newsletter update related to one of his chapters on tax rates.

Here’s an update from the OECD. For the most recent year for which reliable statistics are available (2007), of the 30 OECD countries, Canada is 20th when you compare the total tax revenue as a percentage of GDP.

Of the 10 countries that have lower total taxes, most have miserably poor social programs e.g. Mexico, Turkey, U.S.A., Korea.

Bear in mind that since 2007 total Canadian taxes as a percentage of GDP have come down substantially.

Here is a list of countries with higher taxes than Canada, with Denmark being the highest, followed by Sweden, Belgium, France, Norway, Italy, Finland, Austria, Iceland, Hungary, Netherlands, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, U.K., Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand, Poland.

Overall, the OECD average is about 35.9% while the figure for Canada today is estimated to be about 33%.

The reality, as Mr. Hurtig points out, is that we are no longer in need of more tax cuts just to ‘be competitive’ with other nations.  In fact, I’d argue that in order to attract quality employees and talented professionals, we need a stable and reliable social safety net that takes care of everyone in our society.

As we head into the final days without government (when we’ve needed it more than any time in our history), question the clarion call for tax cuts and understand that cutting taxes in an age when people aren’t making money is foolish and only benefits an elite few.

Supoprt new initiatives that will re-build Canada’s manufacturing base and goals that are geared towards a green economy.  Only then will our investments pay off.