Tax-shifting is empowering

Elizabeth May in a scarfHigh energy prices and dwindling reserves of cheap, conventional oil colliding with the clear and present danger of the climate crisis demands that long-term decisions be taken.  There is no room for political expediency.

It is likely the next election campaign will be won or lost depending on the ability to communicate clearly to Canadians the benefits of action to reduced our dependency on fossil fuels.  The Green Tax Shift is at the heart of the Green approach.  Of course, the tax shifting piece must be seen in the context of the Green Climate plan which is far broader in its reach.  It will focus on quantum leap improvements in energy efficiency and productivity, spurring the growth of renewables, killing perverse subsidies to oil and nuclear, helping make decisions to retro-fit and reduce fossil fuel dependency, as well as a cap and trade programme for the most polluting industrial sectors.

On June 18th we released the specific details of what has been on the table as specifics to the Green carbon tax and tax cuts to income and payroll taxes.  A $50/tonne carbon tax allows us to reduce $40 billion in taxes elsewhere in the system, while providing relief to those who need it most.

The Green Tax Shift allows us to:

  • Eliminate personal income tax for any Canadian earning under $20,000.
  • Increase income supplements to seniors.
  • Cut student loans burdening our young graduates in half.
  • Allow income splitting, providing relief to the middle class.
  • Give a Carbon Tax Holiday to employers and employees paying CPP and EI contributions.
  • Buffer the pain of higher gas prices for those with least access to alternatives, through a GST rebate for rural Canadian.

The effect is “revenue neutral.”  In other words, this is not about increasing taxes to Canadians. It is about lowering some taxes by shifting the tax to pollution and off people.

The benefits of this approach are many.  One key that Greens should explain to friends and neighbours is that this tax approach gives the individual more power to control the tax you pay.  With income taxes, your only choice to avoid taxes is to earn less money. This is not a choice many people will make!    With carbon taxes, you can reduce the tax you pay by car-pooling, by buying a more energy efficient vehicle, by insulating your home, by keeping your thermostat a little warmer in summer and a little cooler in winter.  You have real control to reduce your taxes even more than the tax cuts provided through the Green Tax Shift already does.  A Green Tax Shift is empowering.

Visit the Green Party of Canada Website for more.

One response to “Tax-shifting is empowering”

  1. James Scarrow writes:

    The Green Tax Shift is a very interesting and progressive policy. As well as convincing Canadians of the benefits of such a policy, it will be important that the Green party explain the differences between this plan and the plan being proposed by the Liberals.

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