Quebec must abandon tax cuts, say union leaders | Quebec Budget 2023

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Quebec must give up tax cuts, say union leaders | Quebec Budget 2023

We must prioritize public services, for example educational childcare services, say the leaders of the FTQ, the CSN, the CSQ and the CSD, instead of lowering taxes for Quebecers. (File photo)

Another voice is added to those who have already spoken out against tax cuts. The central unions believe that there are other priorities to be funded before reducing the taxpayers' tax bill, an election promise of the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) which would deprive the Quebec state of income from #x27;approximately $2 billion a year.

The presidents of the four central labor unions, Magali Picard (FTQ), Caroline Senneville (CSN), Éric Gingras (CSQ) and Luc Vachon (CSD), meet Thursday with the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, on the occasion of government consultations in anticipation of his budget which will be tabled on March 21.

It is clear to us, they argued in a statement, that the government is on the wrong track by depriving the public treasury of essential resources to relieve pressure on public services, reduce the tensions resulting from the shortage of work and meet the many challenges of Quebec, particularly in the fight against climate change and economic development.

During the election campaign, the CAQ promised to lower personal income tax by one percentage point for the first two tax brackets, up to $92,580.

As an example, for a taxpayer with a salary of $80,000, this means about $620 less tax to pay per year. In total, this would translate into a loss of annual revenue of approximately $2 billion for the Quebec state and approximately $7.4 billion in four years.

Depriving yourself of 2 billion in the context where public services are cracking everywhere and where they are reaching several breaking points, it is incomprehensible and irresponsible, argue the union leaders.

The Legault government justifies its promise to reduce the tax burden by the fact that the tax cuts would not involve any budget cut, being financed by the Generations Fund, indicates the press release from the central unions. Labor organizations believe that investing in the maintenance and sustainability of infrastructure and services is also a way of taking care of future generations.

“One of the surest ways to guarantee intergenerational equity is to invest in the Quebec of tomorrow through a adequate funding for health and social services, education and higher education, educational childcare services and public infrastructure, for example. »


The question of the tax reduction also arouses divergent opinions in the business community. For some associations, such as the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, it is high time to reduce the burden of taxation, which is heavier in Quebec.

< p class="e-p">There was a strong mandate given to the Coalition avenir Québec. It was one of their main commitments. I do not understand why there is such a strong outcry a few months before the elections, when we have already had the debate, said the vice-president for Quebec of the CFIB, François Vincent.

On the other hand, at the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), we believe that the moment is badly chosen to reduce personal taxes. Its chief economist, Norma Kozhaya, points out that Quebec has not yet reached the balanced budget projected for 2027. There are also questions about whether a tax cut is not necessary. not counterproductive at a time when central banks are trying to fight inflation.

The main reason for the CPQ's reluctance is that the tax cut will be financed by a reduction in payments to the Generations Fund. We think that what is dedicated to payment to the Generations Fund should remain so and be allocated to debt reduction, says Ms. Kozhaya.

With information from La Presse canadienne

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