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January 26, 2022

Are tax rates going to drop?

By Gordon Powers, Sympatico / MSN Finance

After closing Parliament’s doors to avoid almost certain defeat, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is doing his level best to avoid another confrontation with the opposition parties. With the NDP and Bloc Quebecois expected to vote against Tuesday's budget, and the Liberals sitting on the fence until at least Wednesday, his ministers have been given leave to officially ‘leak’ big chunks of the Tory plan.

After weekend announcements of at least $1.5-billion in new training funds for laid-off workers, and a further $2-billion in budget cash to build and refurbish public housing units, it was Transport Minister John Baird who got to hand out the goodies this morning.

$4-billion will be spent over two next years paving roads and fixing aging sewers, Baird says. The government also plans to spend a further $2-billion to improve maintenance at colleges and universities, as well as $1-billion for a Green infrastructure fund.

Much of this is the result of lengthy consultations with the provinces — and that’s new. The question is whether the government has been listening to anybody else?

The Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, for instance, has been calling for a reduction in the middle two income tax rates (22 percent and 26 percent) and the top rate (29 percent) by one percentage point in each of the next two years; a drop in the general corporate income tax rate to the small business rate of 11 percent, and the elimination of capital gains tax altogether.  

That would certainly be a good start.



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...