Here in Alberta and across Canada, it is getting more and more difficult for individuals to get ahead. Even in times of economic growth, families often find themselves falling further behind, and runaway inflation is just making matters worse. For the first time since the Secord World War, a generation is coming of age with the understanding that they will be worse off than their parents. It’s time to get back to the basics of fiscal conservatism and economic freedom that helped to create the middle class in the first place:
Here are some of the key points of my Economic Plan designed to Help The Little Guy Get Ahead:
- Scrap Toews’ hidden tax hike: Under former Finance Minister Travis Toews, Alberta de-indexed income tax brackets from inflation. This translates to an automatic tax increase on every worker, impacting every family in our province. With today’s runaway inflation, it means a tax increase of hundreds of millions of dollars, with increases every single year. Coming out of the pandemic, this is the worst possible time for the government to be raiding your wallet and taking food off your table. It’s time to adjust course and immediately re-index income tax to inflation.
- No PST: Despite what former Finance Minister Travis Toews has considered in the past (Alberta finance minister says he would consider a PST after pandemic | Edmonton Journal), and what Danielle Smith has mused about (Smith: Alberta needs financial reset from our disgraceful budget chaos | Calgary Herald) Albertans DO NOT want a provincial sales tax. PSTs are a regressive form of taxation, and not having a PST is a crucial part of the Alberta Advantage. With the next provincial election coming in less than a year, the UCP needs to provide certainty to families and businesses alike: A vote for the UCP means no PST, no waffling, no wiggle room, full stop.
- Lead by example on carbon taxes: Federal and provincial carbon taxes have proven to be the most inflationary taxes in Canadian history. On this front, the UCP needs to do a better job of leading by example. In addition to pressing for the elimination of the federal consumer carbon tax, we must ensure Alberta’s industrial carbon tax is net neutral for Alberta’s families.
- Cancel the small business tax. In recent decades our governments have dumped billions of taxpayer dollars into corporate welfare and subsidies that benefit global companies and foreign investors. It’s high time our government focused on supporting the success of the little guy, the folks who live here, work here, volunteer here, and invest here. Cutting the small business tax from two percent to zero will eliminate unnecessary administration while strengthening the Alberta Advantage.
- Live within our means: Provincial government debt is nothing more than a tax on future generations. Meanwhile, every dollar we spend servicing this debt is a dollar not available for today’s core provincial services, like healthcare and education. We must hold the line on new debt so that the younger and less established next generation of Albertans have the chance to get ahead.
- A credible plan for the future: Alberta’s government is notoriously bad at predicting cyclical booms and busts. As a result, we see overspending in good times, reams of new debt during tough times, and ever-increasing taxes of Alberta’s families. It’s time to break the cycle with a credible, long-term plan.
Furthermore, the government must provide a legislated plan for all future surpluses, including both debt reduction and personal tax cuts.
P.S. my big idea is so good, and so common-sense that Jason Kenney had no choice but to implement (only part of) it. Albertans are tired of dragging our feet, Jason Kenney should of have implemented this a year ago when Albertans first started feeling the inflationary pressures. Unlike Travis Toews, which rolled back the indexing of personal income tax, I believe Albertans should be able to get ahead. As soon as Travis stepped off the podium, and resigned as Finance Minister to pursue the leadership, common-sense policy began to take place - such as indexing the personal income tax to inflation.