Election 2015: How will your party’s policy reduce or maintain the tax burden for families, while affording federal spending priorities?

NANAIMO – The News Bulletin asked the four main party candidates to answer a series of questions on election issues.

Sheila Malcolmson, New Democratic Party

There is a deep-seated need in this region for basic supports to make life more affordable. Middle-class Canadians are working harder, earning less, and have escalating debt loads. The NDP will relieve the pressure being placed on middle-class Canadians’ budgets with a comprehensive approach.

We will introduce affordable, quality childcare that costs no more than $15 a day. There are 900,000 kids across Canada without access to affordable childcare and families are paying an average of $1,047 per month.  We will maintain income splitting for seniors but scrap a scheme that helps the wealthiest 15 per cent and leaves 85 per cent of families with nothing.

The NDP will kickstart job creation with targeted tax reductions for small business and stable investments in core infrastructure. We will raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and restore the cuts to Employment Insurance.

Mark MacDonald, Conservative Party

Canada’s middle class is now the strongest in the world, and for the first time ever, better off than the U.S.

The Conservative government made decisive tax reductions that benefit the middle class most of all. The federal tax burden is now at its lowest level in 50 years, with the typical Canadian family now saving $6,600 annually through the introduction of income splitting and the Universal Child Care Benefit, which was distributed this summer to ensure that all Canadians received the same benefit. If a family earns over a certain threshold, they will pay some tax, but it was a fairer way to give all families the same benefit.

Tax increases hurt the economy.

The Conservative government has cut personal and corporate taxes, while continuing to increase funding to important social programs, resulting in people having more of their own money to spend as they choose.

Tim Tessier, Liberal Party

We have a plan to deliver fairness for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

The Liberal plan will make the tax system fairer and cut the middle-class tax rate from 22 per cent to 20.5 per cent. That means the tax rate on any income you earn between $44,701 to $89,401 will drop by seven per cent, representing a $3-billion tax cut for middle class families.

Our plan also gives families more money to raise their kids. The Canada Child Benefit provides greater tax-free monthly support to low-income families. With the Liberal plan, a typical one-parent family, with one child, earning $30,000 per year, will get $533 tax-free every month.

All Canadians deserve a real and fair chance at success. When the middle class is strong, growing, and successful, so is Canada. Only Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has a plan for real change that will create jobs and economic growth.

Paul Manly, Green Party

The Green Party has a plan to reform our tax system and make it fairer for all Canadians. Cutting the multi-billion-dollar subsidies to the fossil fuel industry is the first step. Redirecting those funds into improving our social programs and developing clean renewable energy sources.

Canada’s corporate tax rate is currently 15 per cent, the lowest of any developed country. We want to see it restored to the 2009 level of 19 per cent.

We will not increase taxes for small business because they are the engines that drive our local economies.

We need to change the tax system so that products and services are taxed according to their positive or negative impacts on our economy, health, and environment. That means reducing taxes on the things we want, such as employment income and energy efficient appliances, and increasing taxes on things that we don’t want, such as pollution and junk food.

Follow the links to previous questions:

How will you ensure that Nanaimo’s environment is protected?

Is medical marijuana an industry you support?

How will your party’s economic plan benefit Nanaimo residents?

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