More than $3.4B in new revenue belies Tory claim of lowering taxes: Liberals

OTTAWA — As Canadians begin to look forward to a series of new federal tax measures kicking in soon, newly-released figures show changes to taxes and tariffs are also helping bolster the government’s bottom line.

OTTAWA — As Canadians begin to look forward to a series of new federal tax measures kicking in soon, newly-released figures show changes to taxes and tariffs are also helping bolster the government’s bottom line.

Data tabled in the House of Commons this week shows a variety of tax changes and the elimination of old tax credits will rake in more than $3.4 billion for the federal government in 2015-2016.

And those numbers don’t include what the government is collecting on user fees for services like passports and citizenship, or recent new tariffs on imports.

The $3.4-billion figure comes from data in an answer to a question on the order paper by deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale.

It’s a telling answer, albeit an incomplete one, he said in an interview.

“It says that this government has been contrary to what they constantly assert — that they only reduce taxes, they never increase taxes,” he said.

“The evidence is that they have over the last number of years generated billions of dollars in increased taxes and they can deny all they like, but the evidence is clearly there in the answer to this question. So the government’s position is entirely hypocritical.”

Making up the $3.4 billion is everything from the removal of a deduction for safety deposit boxes to a decrease in the tax breaks for credit unions.

It also includes ongoing tax increases for items like tobacco and a bump in revenues from increased taxes on oil sands development.

The biggest chunk comes from the end of the child tax credit, which will give $1.75 billion back to the government.

That credit though is being replaced by the broader universal child care benefit and income-splitting provisions for families with children, which will cost the federal government $4.6 billion a year.

In its response to Goodale’s question, the finance department says the overall federal tax burden to Canadians is at its lowest level in more than 50 years.

“The government has provided significant tax relief for individuals, families and businesses, further contributing to an environment where Canadians can succeed and Canadian businesses can grow, create new well-paying jobs and compete internationally,” the department says in the answer.

In some cases, the department argues, the new taxes are a result of an attempt to streamline older programs, such as the new tax structure for scientific research programs, and the money is poured right back into business.

Though Goodale had asked for a breakdown of all new tariffs, service charges and fees since 2005, the government did not provide all of the data.

For example, last year the government raised passport fees from $87 to $120 for a five-year passport, and introduced a 10 year passport at a cost of $160.

That brought in $462.5 million in fees, numbers that are not included in the data provided to Goodale.

His office says they will be pursuing more detailed figures.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Non-profits that are helping people impacted by COVID-19 can apply for relief funding

Red Deer and District FCSS can draw from a provincial pot of $30 million

Bank of Canada cuts key interest rate target while Libs up wage subsidy

OTTAWA — Canada’s central bank made yet another unscheduled rate cut Friday… Continue reading

A message from the Advocate publisher

In good times and bad, The Red Deer Advocate has been here… Continue reading

No Alberta renter will be evicted for non-payment on April 1, promises the premier

No evictions during the entire Alberta public health emergency

WATCH: COVID-19 doesn’t stop Red Deer Public Library from telling stories

Deb Isbister has been reading stories to children for more than 20… Continue reading

Alberta Health Services provides COVID-19 prevention tips

Alberta Health Services has a number of recommendations for people amid the… Continue reading

Alberta government website has latest COVID-19 statistics

Red Deer Advocate readers can stay up to date on the COVID-19… Continue reading

A message from Central Alberta Co-op

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge that’s having a real impact… Continue reading

4 passengers dead aboard cruise ship anchored off Panama

4 passengers dead aboard cruise ship anchored off Panama

Drumheller Institution in Alberta locked down, two inmates tested for COVID-19

Drumheller Institution in Alberta locked down, two inmates tested for COVID-19

Alberta’s premier rejects call to fire health minister over abuse of citizens

Alberta’s premier rejects call to fire health minister over abuse of citizens

Trump boosts virus aid, warns governors to be ‘appreciative’

Trump boosts virus aid, warns governors to be ‘appreciative’

Marc Miller urges First Nations to delay elections during COVID-19 crisis

Marc Miller urges First Nations to delay elections during COVID-19 crisis

Most Read