Don't be fooled: The Tories just raised your taxes

During daily Question Period in the House of Commons, the government is allowed to “ask questions” of itself. Usually, a backbench MP rises to tee up a softball which a Minister is supposed to hit out of the park. Sometimes, it’s a chance to bring up a topic a Minister wants to make a statement about. That happened today, for example, when a Conservative MP rose in QP to ask Justice Minister Rob Nicholson what he thought about the Shafia verdict.

But most times, it’s like the exchange below, when the Conservatives try to use their lob-ball to take play politics and take on the opposition.

Ms. Joyce Bateman (Winnipeg South Centre, CPC):Mr. Speaker, in this time of global economic uncertainty, Canadians are concerned about being able to save for their retirement. If the NDP had its way, it would double CPP contributions, meaning increased payroll taxes on small and medium–Some hon. members: Oh, oh.

The Speaker: Order, please. I would ask members to hold off on their applause until the member has finished asking her question. The hon. member for Winnipeg South Centre.

Ms. Joyce Bateman Mr. Speaker, this would mean increased payroll taxes on small and medium-sized business. In this time of global economic uncertainty, imposing a tax on our key job creators is just irresponsible…

Now, just hold it right there a minute.

It’s a good thing Finance Minister Jim Flaherty was not in the House today (he’s in the Middle East promoting investment in Canada) because Bateman just called him irresponsible. That’s right: It’s Flaherty, not the NDP who, 31 days ago, on Jan. 1, “increased payroll taxes on small and medium-sized business.”

Employers and all employees began to pay more for employment insurance premiums at the beginning of the year. As an employee, my paycheque is smaller than it was this time last year. And because of the EI preimium hike I am alsoa more expensive employee to my employer.

The premium jumped at the beginning of the year by five cents, going from $1.78 per $100 of insurable earnings to $1.83. This “job-killing payroll tax” is going up again next Jan. 1.

John Baird, in May 2009, once called plans to raise EI premiums “a socialist scheme” (right after he, too, called them a “job killing payroll tax.”)

Other taxes going up under the Conservatives? What Stephen Harper once called “the air security tax” was jacked up in 2009 by his government by 55 per cent, an increase which will suck the equivalen of $1.5 billion out of the economy.

Point being: It’s all very well and good to have political discussions about taxes and spending but, please, Ms. Bateman and other Conservative MPs, don’t take your voters for fools: Your Conservative government has raised taxes, too.

UPDATE: Over at the Maclean‘s blog, Aaron Wherry finds the link wherein “Jim Flaherty is urging the provinces to support a plan to increase mandatory CPP premiums.”

2 thoughts on “Don't be fooled: The Tories just raised your taxes”

  1. Assuming the 5¢ premium increase is deducted from your paycheck every week, that amounts to $2.60 per $100 of insurable earnings per year (.05¢ X 52 weeks) — whereas if the CPP deductions were to double as argued by the Conservative MP, i.e. from $1.78 per $100 of insurable earnings to $3.56, that would mean a yearly increase of $92.56 per $100 of insurable earnings ($1.78 X 52 wks). So, indeed, that WOULD be a hefty hike in payroll taxes.

    OK, so MP Bateman may have been exaggerating, suggesting the NDP wants to double the CPP contributions … but aren’t the opposition AND many of the MSM also exaggerating, suggesting all sorts of dire scenarios about seniors not being able to afford food if there are any changes to pensions? Aren’t the NDP’s and the Liberals’ claims that the PM’s call for changes to our system is “a slap in the face” of seniors or that the Conservatives intend to “take an axe” to the OAS a gross exaggeration?

    Maybe all of them should turn down the volume, cut the over-the-top rhetoric, and get down to some serious discussions about improvements to the current system.

  2. My one wish is that elected representatives, since all parties seem guilty of this, would stop assuming we neither think nor remember things. Contradicting themselves, and often using hyperbole to do so, really doesn’t make them seem that re-electable.

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