Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Winnipeg Sun Editorial: Moment of truth

Winnipeg Sun Editorial: Moment of truth: "Moment of truth
Prime Minister Paul Martin and Finance Minister Ralph Goodale should be tip-toeing through this week's federal budget minefield. After all, today's budget will be the first introduced by a minority government since 1979, when opposition parties brought down Prime Minister Joe Clark's government after his finance minister, John Crosbie, pushed for an 18-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline.
Now Martin and Goodale face their own moment of truth.
We know from their track record that Liberals high-handedly dispute the assertion we Canadians are notoriously overtaxed. But the backbreaking burden we shoulder from taxes is not a conservative fantasy. Toronto-Dominion Bank's chief economist, Don Drummond, released a report last month showing living standards of the average Canadian have hardly risen in 15 years.
Drummond's study showed that between 1989 and 2004 the average after-tax, take-home pay of Canadians rose by only 3.6% while in the U.S., the increase was about 20%.
Conservative Finance Critic Monte Solberg, in appealing to Goodale to lower taxes for Canadians in today's budget, noted in the same 15-year period, Canadian productivity increased by almost 22%.
We are working harder, our industries are more efficient, but none of us are getting the rewards we deserve. This is unfair and wrong.
Both Martin and Goodale have repeatedly said lower taxes are not on the agenda, yet the Tories insist the government lighten our tax load.
There should be a budget showdown if it doesn't include a tax cut. "

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