Federal new democratic party leader Jagmeet Singh wants the liberal government to come up with another one-time benefit payment of $500 for low-income families. This is the same as the payment in 2022, that the liberals had issued to Canadians to ease the impact of inflation. It did not do all that much last year and is unlikely to do more this year. Nor was the payment appreciated all that much last year.
Singh’s approach is similar to the rhetoric of a union leader snarling at corporate management for the sake of some publicity. He hopes the liberals will refuse and give him an excuse to be more critical of their lack of action on behalf of Canadians.
What would make more sense is for the liberals to lower the tax rate on low-income Canadians and to increase the Old Age Security payments to seniors. That would put more money every month into the pockets of those who need it, instead of a one-time payment that soon disappears.
Canadians should realize that inflation is also benefitting government revenues. A reasonable decrease in the low-end of the income tax rate is justified and would be easily covered by the higher tax levels.
Of course, the conservatives under leader Pierre Poilievre will be outraged at anything that smacks of an increase in taxes for the well-off. Typically, conservatives are not impressed with anything that even maintains the balance in our country’s graduated tax system.
As for the new democrats, they do not want to be forgotten and the strategy is to be critical of the liberal regime without upsetting the accord they have with them that is keeping that party in power until 2025.
For the liberals, the key is to get the home building across Canada moving. It is going to take a complex program of incentives. This could include tax refunds on certain basic building materials and tax benefits on completed geared-to-income housing.
The current government needs to look at the home building programs that got millions of homes built in the years just after the Second World War. Those incentives were put together by a liberal government that understood the needs.
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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