Thursday, January 19, 2006

Economists Pan Harper Tax Plans
January 18, 2006

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has repeatedly claimed that his tax cut plans will help the poor.


Today, 66 economists released a letter criticizing the Conservative tax agenda, especially the elimination of the capital gains tax for individuals. Below are excerpts:

Jim Stanford, economist with the Canadian Auto Workers:

“The Conservative Party’s proposal to eliminate income taxes of reinvested capital gains is especially damaging, because it would deliver very large tax savings to a tiny group of high-income Canadians. Moreover, defining, monitoring and policing the six-month reinvestment requirement would create an administrative nightmare for the federal government.”

John Loxley, Professor of Economics at the University of Manitoba:

“The Conservatives have underestimated the true cost of this measure by a significant order of magnitude. This raises significant questions about the reliability of their overall fiscal plan. The uncounted costs associated with this measure alone would reduce estimated federal surpluses by several billions of dollars over the term of the next government.”

Andrew Jackson, Economist and National Director of Social and Economic Policy for the Canadian Labour Congress:

“There is no other tax measure whose benefits are more closely concentrated at the top of the income spectrum. Over 40 percent of taxable capital gains income is declared by the tiny fraction of Canadians who earn more than $250,000 per year. They are the ones who will reap the benefits of this policy, which would greatly exacerbate inequality in Canada

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