Skip to main content

The Pallister Government's budget will increase inequality in Manitoba

The Pallister government will give what it claims is the largest tax cut in the history of Manitoba.   They will do this be increasing the personal income tax exemption.  Yet a person who earns $9,000, an income which is below the current personal exemption, will not benefit from this tax change, and he or she will have to pay more as a result of increased hydro rates and increased costs for gas for his or her car, the increased costs for heating his or her home and increased tuition to send his children to post-secondary education.  The budget does not treat those on low incomes fairly.  I raised this concern in Question Period on March 15th.  My question and the Minister of Finance's response is below.  You can also see it on video by clicking on this link - QP on growing inequality.  

You can see from the Minister's response that he either does not understand the situation of those on low incomes or does not care about it. 


Low-Income Manitobans - Cost-of-Living Concerns

Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, the health of people is improved in countries with greater equality, yet the Finance Minister's budget has no benefit for a fisherman who makes $9,000 a year. He gains nothing from the increased personal exemption, yet has to pay higher costs for gas for his boat, to heat his home, for electricity to turn his lights on and higher tuition to send his children to post‑secondary education. The government is taking a lot of money off his kitchen table.
      Why is the Minister of Finance with his budgetary approach creating greater inequality and throwing struggling people with low incomes under the bus?
Hon. Cameron Friesen (Minister of Finance): Madam Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity to respond to that question.
      The member for River Heights could not be more wrong. As a matter of fact, not only are we bringing the largest tax cut to Manitobans in the history of this province, I recently saw a CBC article that says if you want the poor in Canada to do better,  the way to do it is not by increasing the minimum wage, but it is by raising the basic personal exemption because that is how you put more money back in the pockets of hard-working Manitobans.
      We're giving Manitobans a break because they deserve it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dougald Lamont speaks at Meth Forum last night to present positive ideas to address the epidemic, while exposing the lack of action by the Pallister Conservatives

Last night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre in St. Boniface, at an Election Forum on the Meth Crisis in Manitoba, Dougald Lamont spoke eloquently about the severity of the meth epidemic and described the Liberal plan to address it.  The Liberal Plan will make sure that there is a single province-wide phone number for people, or friends of people, who need help dealing with meth to call (as there is in Alberta) and that there will be rapid access to a seamless series of steps - stabilization, detoxification, treatment, extended supportive housing etc so that people with meth addiction can be helped well and effectively and so that they can rebuild their lives.  The Liberal meth plan will be helped by our approach to mental health (putting psychological therapies under medicare), and to poverty (providing better support).  It will also be helped by our vigorous efforts to help young people understand the problems with meth in our education system and to provide alternative positive

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations