(Halifax/Moncton)—The authors of a new report estimate that the New Brunswick government could increase its annual revenue by more than $260 million per year, if it chooses to make progressive changes to its income tax system.
The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS), a non-partisan, not-for-profit research institute, has released a report questioning New Brunswick government tax policy over the past three years.
The study by Jason Edwards and Roderick Hills: New Brunswick at a Crossroads: Progressive Income Tax, a Clear Choice, describes how recent changes to the personal income tax structure have hurt the province's fiscal prospects. It also makes the case that New Brunswick should reverse the tax cuts that were implemented beginning in 2008, and move to a revenue model that relies less on low-income earners, by adding a top bracket for people with taxable incomes over $150,000 per year.
Co-author of the report, Jason Edwards, calls the reports proposed changes “a step in the right direction,” adding that, “Progressive taxation will raise revenue and reduce inequality in New Brunswick, which will be good for everyone in the province. We also recommend that New Brunswickers be given an opportunity for meaningful input into tax policy, for example through the establishment of a fair tax commission.”
Co-author, economist Roderick Hill explains the rationale for the research as follows: "the recent tax cuts have disproportionately benefitted the province's wealthiest residents. Moreover, changes in the tax structure have drastically hurt New Brunswick's fiscal situation.”
Auréa Cormier, from The Common Front for Social Justice states: “Over the past three years, the tax cuts implemented by the former Liberal government and continued by the present Conservative government resulted in a massive movement of revenue out of the government coffers. It cut the province’s fiscal ability to provide essential public services and increased the provincial deficit. This occurred at the height of the 2008 economic crisis. It has also exacerbated inequality, which will be made worse by massive public program cuts implemented this government. This report provides another way forward to ensure that everyone pays their fair share to ensure the availability of public services and will help reduce the provincial deficit.”
The report, New Brunswick at a Crossroads: Progressive Income Tax, a Clear Choice can be downloaded free at www.policyalternatives.ca. For media interviews, contact Jason Edwards (902) 477-1252.
The CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social and economic justice. The Nova Scotia office located in Halifax publishes on public policy issues in the Maritimes.
This report is released in partnership with the The Common Front for Social Justice, Inc., which is a non-profit organization in New Brunswick committed to greater solidarity within society, especially with those living in poverty.
For information :
Jason Edwards – 902-477-1252
Auréa Cormier – 506- 204-1134