(The following is a very condensed version of the Liberal Party's economic platform)
Under this Conservative government
Stephen Harper has trashed Paul Martin’s sound economic policy of maintaining a Contingency Reserve of 3 Billion dollars in the budget, which served as a guarantee against government deficits and in fact the remaining reserve would actually be directly used to pay down our national debt. The Conservatives have taken a government that was high in surpluses to one that is currently on the brink of recession.
Under A Liberal Government
With the Green Shift, and taxing more of what we don’t want (pollution), a Liberal Government can tax less of what we do want (Income). The Liberal revenue neutral Green Shift allows for sweeping tax cuts for working Canadians.
• We will cut the lowest income tax rate by 10 percent.
• And we will cut the middle class tax rates by five percent and four percent respectively.
• A Liberal government will make our new child tax credit fully refundable which means real financial assistance for Canadian families whether or not they pay significant income taxes.
• Replace the Conservatives’ regressive, small, poorly designed $1,000 employment credit – with a $1,850 refundable employment credit targeted at those Canadians who earn less than $50,000 per year. This will put up to $250 per person into the pockets of those working Canadians who need it most.
• Increase the Working Income Tax Benefit. We will encourage work by having this benefit available on the first dollar earned, $3,000 sooner than the Conservative plan. We will ensure that it benefits more families by phasing it out more slowly.
Broad-based Corporate Income Tax Reduction:
We will accelerate and deepen the currently planned corporate tax cuts, reducing the general corporate tax rate by an additional one percent within four years. This will reduce federal corporate tax rates to 14 percent by the fourth year of our plan, making Canada one of the most competitive tax jurisdictions in the world.
Small Business Income Tax Reductions:Small business is the job-creation engine of the Canadian economy. Canada’s entrepreneurs will lead the development of new technologies and products for the green economy. We will help our entrepreneurs create more jobs by cutting their taxes by an additional one percent.
We are committed to balanced budgets, which is why all the commitments in this platform are within a prudent fiscal framework that includes a contingency reserve of $3 billion a year to be applied to the debt if it’s not used – a prudent measure irresponsibly abandoned by the Conservative government.