Is tax fairness fair?

Although the subject of the Liberal government's contemplated “tax fairness” measures continues to dominate much of the discussion I am hearing both here in the riding and in Ottawa, it is important to not overlook the previous Conservative government's “fairness” debate during the last Parliament.
Many may forget that the federal public sector pension plans as well as the MP pension plan contributions were heavily subsidized by taxpayers.

In a measure of pension plan fairness to taxpayers, former prime minister Stephen Harper made changes so that contributions to these respective pension plans would eventually become equally split at 50/50 between employees and the employer. 

Those changes were estimated to save taxpayers $2.6 billion over a five years and are now fully in effect for 2017.
One aspect of these changes was not widely reported. Mr. Harper also removed a special pension clause reserved exclusively for prime ministers. Removing this clause cost Mr. Harper in excess of $1 million in future pension benefits that his predecessors still receive.
I mention this for the fact that it was revealed this week in the House of Commons that the Liberal tax changes, if implemented, will not adversely impact the personal family fortunes of either Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

This revelation has created a significant amount of controversy, for good reason. 

When millionaire families, being the real one per cent of wealth, are not being impacted by “tax fairness” at the expense of small business owners, farmers, ranchers and other professionals – is that really fair?
Many small business owners and others I am hearing from strongly disagree. Ironically, I am also hearing from a growing number of Liberal MPs in Ottawa who are also voicing concerns on the long-term consequences this tax increase may create.
I will be in Penticton to hear your concerns about how these tax changes will impact your small business or profession this Friday from 5-7 p.m. at the Day’s Inn and Conference Centre at 152 Riverside Dr.

If you are unable to attend, you can also email the finance minister at [email protected] to share your concerns. Please consider cc’ing my office.
My question this week relates to tax fairness.

  • Considering many of Canada’s wealthiest will still have access to tax mitigation strategies not impacted by these proposed tax changes, does that meet your definition of tax fairness?

I can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.


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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

He can be reached at [email protected] or call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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