Why Is Tom Mulcair Opposed to Tax Increases?
A recent online article suggests that Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is opposed to increasing federal tax rates. I find this quite surprising.
According to the August 8 article:
Mulcair seemed surprised when he was asked if taxes would go up under an NDP government.
â€œYouâ€™re the first person whoâ€™s ever asked me that,â€ he said, adding quickly that they most definitely wonâ€™t.
â€œI am categorical on that,â€ he said. â€œSeveral provinces are now at the 50 per cent rate. Beyond that, youâ€™re not talking taxation; youâ€™re talking confiscation. And that is never going to be part of my policies, going after more individual taxes. Period. Full stop.â€
Mr. Mulcair appears to be under the impression that taxation across Canada has been increasing in recent years.
I have a different interpretation of recent tax trends. Consider the following:
-In the early 1980s, Canada’s top federal income tax rate was 43%. Today, it is 29%.
-In 2000, the federal government’s general corporate income tax rate was 29%. By 2012, it was 15%.
-In 2006, the marginal effective tax rate on new business investment across Canada was 33%. As of 2014, it will be 17% (the lowest of all G-7 countries).
-In 1999, total taxes as a percentage of Canada’s GDP (including all federal and provincial taxes) was 36%. By 2010, it was 31%.
It is no secret that the Liberal Party brought in substantial tax cuts while in office before Mr. Harper. Nor is it a secret that this trend has accelerated since Prime Minister Harper took office in 2006.
Mr. Mulcair and his officials might wish to consider articulating a more accurate depiction of tax trends in Canada. Doing so might allow voters to have a more informed debate about public policy.
UPDATE (Aug. 12, 2013): The present blog post has caught the attention of Aaron Wherry at MacLean’s.Â He writes about it in a piece entitled Have Conservatives won the tax debate?
Nick Falvo is a Calgary-based research consultant. He has a PhD in public policy.