Government is making life less affordable
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This article was published 08/06/2022 (357 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Last month, the Progressive Conservative government passed legislation that gives massive payouts to big businesses while everyday Manitobans are struggling with the growing affordability crisis. The government passed the education tax rebate, which first took effect in 2021. The rebate takes the wrong approach.
For instance, the largest recipient of the new education tax rebate it the owner of Polo Park shopping centre, Toronto-based Cadillac Fairview, which will receive a cheque totalling more than $1 million. In response, the NDP put forward an amendment last month to exempt commercial property owners, but it was voted down by this PC government. Had our amendment passed, it would have saved taxpayers $40 million, which is now going to “other properties” such as commercial properties, railways, pipelines, industrial and other non-residential and non-farm properties. These are not the sectors which are struggling the most right now; in fact, railways and pipelines are doing quite well.
Meanwhile, Manitobans are facing inflation over 7 per cent — the third-highest rate in the country. Our minimum wage will soon be the lowest in the entire country. Right here in Fort Garry, 50 per cent of residents who rent their accommodations, had their taxes increased through Budget 2022 with the permanent reduction of the renters tax credit from $700 to $525. At the same time, landlords will get big tax breaks. This is the wrong approach especially when there are huge needs in health and education. Our hospitals are currently still under immense strain and severely underfunded, and our schools don’t have what they need to recover from the pandemic.
In all this, the Manitoba government is projecting a significant deficit of $548 million this year. Still, the PCs pushed ahead with the education tax rebate and will have to borrow tens of millions of dollars to give to out-of-province corporate landlords. This makes our tax system less fair and life less affordable, and frankly, it just doesn’t make sense for the government to be engaging in corporate welfare by borrowing money that is leaving the province. The government needs to be more fiscally responsible than this, and it needs to implement solutions that will actually and directly help Manitobans in need. We will continue to push this government to increase the minimum wage, support renters, and create jobs inside the province.
Please reach out to my office anytime by emailing email@example.com or by phone 204-421-4241.
Fort Garry constituency report
Mark Wasyliw is the NDP MLA for Fort Garry.