Monday, September 28, 2009

Sask. finance minister rejects flat tax

I usually concentrate on politics at the federal level because I feel the horrifying level of federal income tax that I pay is what affects my life the most. But a recent study released by the board of Enterprise Saskatchewan got me excited. In the report, it was recommended that Saskatchewan adopt a flat tax system similar to Alberta.

I was excited because I thought that maybe, just maybe, the time was right in Saskatchewan to introduce such a simple and elegant idea. With the Saskatchewan Party firmly in control politically, I thought there was no chance that the socialists in this province, the NDP, could screw it up. And besides, Finance Minister Rod Gantefoer announced that "they were seriously considering it."

Well, no sooner had they announced they were seriously considering it, it became obvious that they had not seriously considered it. Another announcement came out a few days later saying they were rejecting the idea of a 10% flat tax in Saskatchewan. With Gantefoer saying: 'Raising tax rates on low-income earners to benefit wealthier residents "is not on."'

Ok, so is an 11% flat tax in Saskatchewan, "on"?

Because by saying such a stupid statement to the press, you are sounding a lot like a member of the NDP party, Rod. And not even the finance minister of said party.

For starters, who said anything about raising the tax rate on low income earners? Did you miss the part in the report about raising the personal exemption, which would in fact lower taxes for all taxpayers and eliminate a lot of the lowest income earners from paying taxes? And how could simplifying the tax code, lowering taxes for everyone, be considered a "benefit to the wealthy"?

I had seriously thought that we finally had a conservative party in power in this country that wasn't afraid to talk about conservative policies and even had the power to implement them. My hopes were dashed after hearing our Finance Minister doing his best impression of an NDP Minister of Central Economic Planning.

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