Ever since I became a Canadian one thing that has been consistent, when I go out of the country and sometime within Canada itself, I come across people from all walks of life who perpetuate the belief that Canadians have the most regressive and oppressive tax system in the world.
Unfortunately, having to contribute 39% of my salary as taxes to the various branches of the government, I cound never really counter the argument. I knew that my taxes were going towards the health services, schools, roads, etc but there was no hard data to support my belief that the taxes we give in Canada give us unprecedented services.
Well, today that changes. For all you whiners and cry babies who moan and groan about paying taxes, read this the next time you have to pay taxes.
The majority of Canadian households enjoy a higher quality of life because the public services their taxes fund come at a solid bargain, according to a new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The Benefits of Public Spending responds to incessant calls for tax cuts and concludes public services make a significant contribution to the majority of Canadians’ standard of living – worth at least 50% of their income.
“What passes for a tax cut debate in Canada is really only half a debate,” says economist Hugh Mackenzie, the study’s co-author and CCPA research associate.
“Our taxes pay for services that are extremely valuable to Canadians. The suggestion we often hear, that taxes are a burden, hides the reality that our taxes fund public services that make Canada’s standard of living among the very best.”
The study shows middle-income Canadian families enjoy public services worth about $41,000 – or 63% of their income. Even households earning $80,000-$90,000 a year enjoy public services benefits equivalent to about half of their income.
The study also shows 80% of Canadians would be better off if the federal government hadn’t cut the GST; 75% would be better off if their provincial governments invested in public services instead of broad-based income tax cuts; and 88% would be better off without federal cuts to capital gains taxes.
“Tax cuts are always made to sound like they’re free money to middle-income Canadians – they are anything but,” says Mackenzie. “We’re far better off with the public services our taxes fund than we are with tax cuts.”