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More Flaherty propaganda on Canadians tax situation debunked.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has been bragging about how many Canadians he took of the tax rolls with this latest budget. His online supporters at the Blogging Tories have been parroting the same line. However, the financial experts have looked at this claim, and as this article says, they’ve literally scoffed at it:

…there’s widespread agreement the tax changes introduced by Flaherty do little to improve the lot of low-income earners. “Don’t get sucked in by that,” says TD Bank chief economist Don Drummond when asked about Flaherty’s claim 385,000 people won’t pay federal tax as a result of the Oct. 30 mini-budget. “Most of those people were paying $5 or $10.”

I can just hear the Blogging Tories grumbling about those biased liberal economic bankers throwing out inconvenient facts like that to screw up Flaherty’s narrative. It isn’t just bankers either; its also researchers as well:

“There are people who would be just barely above the amount of the non-refundable credit, so, in effect, you put them in a zero tax position,” says Hugh Mackenzie, a research associate with the Ottawa-based Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. “They’re not eliminated from the tax rolls. The position that they find themselves in is that when they go through the tax calculation, they find at the end of it they don’t owe anything. “It’s not as if these people are exempted forever from paying tax,” Mackenzie added. “As inflation goes on and economic circumstances change, you could have a very similar income and find yourself taxable again.”

In otherwards, this pronouncement by Flaherty is nothing more then semantics at best – propaganda at worst – designed to fool Canadians into actually thinking this government has done something dramatic, when, as the article says, “savings for low-income earners are, at most, 39 a day”

The one measure where the analysts say Flaherty did go in the right direction was the Working Income Tax Benefit, but critics say he needs to do far more to get maximum value for low-income earners. It is this benefit that Stephane Dion has said he will dramatically increase as part of his “30/50” plan to fight poverty under a Liberal government.

UPDATE: I see Prog Blogger Dan wrote as well this AM about the same propaganda tactics the Cons. are trying with this, too. The Star’s article is a good start, but its up to the rest of us in the non-Conservative blogging world to help stop this narrative before it gets rooted as a fact by the Cons and their blogging and media allies.


2 comments to More Flaherty propaganda on Canadians tax situation debunked.

  • Well, the Chief Economist from the TD seems to add a little credibility ALW. I haven’t seen a single economist yet that thought it was a good idea.

    Care to provide a link?

  • ALW

    Did you actually just cite an economist from the CCPA as an authority on economics? 

    Imagine I wrote a post about how great these tax cuts were.  And imagine I referenced an economist from the Fraser Institute as proof they were great. What do you think your reaction would be?

    Yeah, I think you get the idea.

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