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Op-Ed: Liberal Tax Changes: A Man-Made Disaster

The Liberals’ proposed tax changes are alarming to small businesses and families across Canada. I have heard from many individuals, agricultural producers, and business owners in my riding. All are troubled by the proposed changes and fear that the impact of the changes will drastically impede their ability to keep their operations viable.

The Liberals have characterized small business owners and farmers as tax cheats, but nothing could be further from the truth. Small businesses form the backbone of the Canadian economy. Our wellbeing as a nation depends on their strength. They provide employment, fill local market niches, support regional initiatives, and contribute significant sums of taxation to all three levels of government: municipal, provincial, and federal.

It’s clear the Liberals do not have an income problem, they have a spending problem. By 2045, debt projections based on the Liberals’ unsustainable budget will reach $1.5 trillion. Their policies have created a disastrous deficit and they do not have a clear idea as to how to reduce that debt other than by increasing the taxes of the thousands of businesses that make up the Canadian economy. The Liberal budget puts the deficit for 2017-18 at $28.5 billion and shows us running deficits into the foreseeable future.

To raise money, they are going after the middle class. In Budget 2017 alone, the Liberals raised taxes on beer and wine, donated medicines, child care, small business owners, oil & gas companies, and tourism. They cancelled tax credits for families, clawed back Tax-Free Savings Accounts, introduced a CPP tax hike and proposed a national carbon tax that will cost the average family $2,500 per year.

This Liberal Government does not understand the fact that earned money belongs to individuals and is not an entitlement of the government. A fair tax system should not penalize people for making money. Unfair taxes reduce profits, discourage innovation, and slow growth, which results in lost jobs, fewer working hours, and reduced health benefits. It punishes the honest, hardworking individuals who have invested their time and money into the very businesses that helps Canada thrive. Small businesses need to be free to generate income, which is the incentive that spurs them to expand their services, which in turn creates jobs.

My colleagues and I are currently working together on a strategy that will put a halt to these detrimental tax changes. We are committed to supporting policies that reduce the tax burden for local businesses and reduce government red tape.

In the next few weeks, the Liberals will be tabling their legislation to implement these tax changes. I would urge all small business owners affected to write to the Minister of Finance and explain how the Liberal tax hikes will hurt their businesses and communities.

Arnold Viersen, MP
Peace River – Westlock
Deputy Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development