May 04, 2015

Trudeau's tax cuts as seen by John Ibbitson

The Liberals have released a major policy announcement around taxes. The Globe and Mail's John Ibbitson reviewed the election-platform plank and here are some of his observations:

The Liberal Leader is dedicating himself, his party and his electoral prospects to making life easier for people earning between $44,700 and $89,401 a year. 
If you make less than that, especially if you’re childless, Monday’s announcement offers you less.
And there's more:
It punishes the wealthy, and focuses laser-like on the middle of the middle. It is as important for what it leaves out as for what it includes.
If you believe that Canada has dug itself an infrastructure hole, and that Ottawa should be spending more to repair it, then be warned: Mr. Trudeau’s middle-class tax cut sucks up so much money that there will be little for trains and airports and sewers and highways.
If you believe that fighting global warming should be the first priority, then be warned: There will be few dollars available for converting from mean to green.
Many activists who are sick to death of years of Conservative hostility to their cause, whatever that cause might be, and who have poured their aspirations into the empty vessel known as Justin Trudeau, may only now be realizing that their hopes were misplaced.
And this, about Trudeau and the NDP:
... Mr. Trudeau has clearly decided to ignore the NDP. If they want to tailor policies for lower-income workers, if they want to guarantee subsidized daycare spaces, if they want to fight climate change, the Liberals are happy to let them... It can be exceedingly dangerous to turn your back on Thomas Mulcair.
Five months until the election, and:
Mr. Trudeau’s biggest challenge is to persuade those middle-income voters that he gets them and is willing to fight for them. It may be a hard sell... 
Five months can be a long time in politics. The NDP are going up in the polls while the Liberals and Conservatives are done slightly. Will tomorrow's provincial election results in Alberta boost the NDP federally? 

As citizens concerned about the least fortunate in our society, about climate change and about the terrible state of our nation's infrastructure, we need to be very careful about Mr Trudeau and the Liberal Party. Very careful indeed.

John Ibbitson's column appeared in Monday's Globe and Mail, 04 May 2015.

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