REGINA, SK: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) is calling on the Manitoba government to amend balanced budget legislation that fails to protect taxpayers from major tax increases—such as a new carbon tax. The province released its draft legislation March 13, 2017.
“This draft legislation includes a loophole big enough to allow a carbon tax on everything to get through without respecting Manitobans’ right to vote in a referendum,” said Todd MacKay, the CTF’s prairie director. “Premier Brian Pallister promised a referendum on all ‘major’ tax hikes—that has to include both major existing taxes as well as major new taxes.”
The current draft of the legislation only requires referendums on existing taxes such as corporate and personal income taxes and sales taxes.
“If Premier Pallister really believes Manitobans want a carbon tax, he should respect their right to approve it in a referendum,” said MacKay.
The legislation also requires the province to consistently reduce its deficit each year and begin paying down the debt after its balanced. Cabinet ministers will face graduated penalties for failing to do so.
“Manitoba has to start bringing its deficit down and this legislation will support that effort,” said MacKay. “We’re looking forward to seeing a more detailed plan to get the books back into the black.”
Manitoba’s current operational deficit is more than a billion dollars annually and it currently spends $873 million per year to make interest payments on existing debts.
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