EDMONTON – Today Brian Mason, the New Democrat Finance and Treasury Board critic, said the PC’s deliberately unfair tax system and reckless cuts to corporate taxes are to blame for cuts to the vital public services Albertans count on.
“Prentice’s talk about a sales tax is an attempt to divert attention away from the unfair and negligent tax policies the PCs have been implementing for years. The deliberately unfair tax system this government has imposed on Albertans has resulted in the underfunding of public services and delays in building new schools and hospitals,” said Mason. Alberta’s NDP rejects a sales tax because it hits middle class and working families harder than wealthy ones, he said.
The PC government has cut taxes on corporate profits by over one third to 10%, far lower than most other provinces. Alberta is also the only province in Canada with a flat tax on personal incomes. All other provinces in the country have progressively higher tax rates relative to income.
“This government has squandered windfall resource revenues in the good years, rewarding banks, energy companies and Alberta’s wealthiest individuals at the expense of average Alberta families. 30% of Alberta’s programs now depend on volatile royalty revenues. When oil prices drop, as they inevitably do, we lay off teachers and nurses. Albertans deserve better,” Mason said.
Implementing a progressive tax system and reversing cuts to corporate taxes would generate billions of dollars of additional revenue, he said.
“The economic situation Alberta faces now is the direct result of this government’s fiscal favoritism. The PCs have neglected to implement a stable revenue stream and instead have recklessly insisted that Alberta rely on boom and bust energy cycles to fund public services,” said Mason.