Liberals vow to reform tax system


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Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont promises to reform the provincial tax system — which he says lets too many people, including the leaders of the other two main parties avoid paying taxes.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/07/2019 (1336 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba Liberal Leader Dougald Lamont promises to reform the provincial tax system — which he says lets too many people, including the leaders of the other two main parties avoid paying taxes.

“We want to see a fair tax system where everyone pays their fair share,” Lamont said at a press conference Sunday. If elected, the provincial Liberals would act on calls from the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce to hold an independent review of the Manitoba tax system, he said.

“For many years, the PCs and NDP alike have used promises of tax credits and tax cuts as a way of manipulating voters at election time and that’s what the PCs are doing right now,” said Lamont, who was flanked by Liberal candidates on the grounds of the Manitoba legislature.

“The result is a provincial tax system that’s messy, difficult and costly to administer for businesses and citizens alike, and it is also a system that is profoundly unfair,” he said, comparing tax credits to pizza coupons.

“You still have to have money to use them and, because of the way these tax favours are handed out, it may mean that a tiny fraction of the population gets a huge break while the vast majority of us see only a few pennies a day difference, all at a time when the PC government is running a deficit.”

Conservative governments like to blame deficits on too much spending without mentioning the link to major shortfalls in revenue, Lamont said.

“Canadians for Tax Fairness and other advocacy organizations have argued that many governments in Canada could shirk their deficits without raising taxes at all, simply by making sure that people and companies pay the taxes they owe,” the Liberal leader said.

“Our tax system also allows for widespread tax avoidance,” Lamont added. His two main rivals are examples of Manitobans who created corporations for themselves to legally avoid paying taxes, he said.

“NDP Leader Wab Kinew disclosed that he owns a small corporation that receives royalties from his book. This allows him to pay a much lower corporate tax rate and taxes on capital gains instead of income tax rates.”

Premier Brian Pallister has said he created Pallister Financial after he was advised he was holding “too much profit” in his insurance company, which is another way of deferring taxes, Lamont said.

“This is an issue where there is no difference between the leaders of the PCs and NDP.”

The PC Party of Manitoba responded without addressing tax avoidance by Pallister.

“Manitobans are already taxed to the max,” a prepared statement said Sunday. “In fact, many Manitoba families have less than $200 of disposable income left at the end of the month,” it said in an email.

“This ‘Liberal tax increase commission’ is a disguise, targeting hard-working Manitoba families and small businesses,” the PCs said. “Only a re-elected PC government led by Brian Pallister will put money back on the kitchen table and make life more affordable for families, seniors and households across the province.”

Carol Sanders

Carol Sanders
Legislature reporter

After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.


Updated on Sunday, July 28, 2019 1:43 PM CDT: adds photos

Updated on Sunday, July 28, 2019 8:38 PM CDT: Edited

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