Singh calls Liberal luxury tax a ‘distraction’

By Greg Dalgetty | October 3, 2019 | Last updated on September 15, 2023
2 min read
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NDP leader Jagmeet Singh says Liberal leader Justin Trudeau’s plan to impose a new tax on the wealthy has “no credibility.”

The Liberal platform includes a plan to impose a 10% “luxury tax” on cars, boats and personal aircraft costing more than $100,000.

At a campaign stop in Toronto on Thursday, Singh dismissed the idea of taxing luxury goods as “a distraction,” and said the NDP’s plans to crack down on offshore tax havens, end CEO stock option deductions and introduce a wealth tax would “ensure that the wealthiest pay their fair share.”

“Again and again, we’ve seen Mr. Trudeau says a lot of nice things during a campaign, but he has no credibility when it comes to making sure choices are being made that benefit people rather than the wealthiest,” Singh told reporters.

Citing recently released data from Statistics Canada, Singh noted that Canada’s wealthiest 1% have seen their effective tax rates decline and incomes increase under the Liberals’ watch.

“Their plans are actually making the wealthy pay less and increasing the income gap,” Singh said.

The Liberals introduced legislation in June that would impose a $200,000 annual limit for certain companies on employee stock option grants that can be taxed effectively at the capital gains rate beginning next year. The 2019 budget included an additional $150 million over five years for the CRA to conduct offshore audits of high-net-worth individuals.

The Liberal platform says a re-elected government would review tax expenditures “to ensure that wealthy Canadians do not benefit from unfair tax breaks.”

A key plank in the NDP’s platform is to impose a wealth tax on “super-rich multi-millionaires.” The plan would see the super-wealthy taxed 1% on wealth exceeding $20 million.

The Green Party has also proposed a wealth tax.

When asked how the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would be able to determine whether a person’s wealth exceeds $20 million, Singh said there’s “lots” of publicly available information about the net wealth of various people.

“We would use all the tools available that our CRA has to ensure that those who have wealth of over $20 million pay 1% on their wealth over $20 million,” he said.

Singh said the wealth tax would “require self-reporting” and would be strictly enforced.

He also said the tax would generate more than $70 billion in revenue through 2028, based on a cost estimate from the parliamentary budget officer.

“This is a massive way to increase revenue,” Singh said.

Greg Dalgetty