The federal NDP is calling on the Liberal government to introduce a new tax on companies that have seen profits skyrocket during the pandemic.
On Thursday, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh held a press conference calling for a temporary Covid-19 excess profit tax, urging the government to at least double the tax rate on companies’ excess profits during the pandemic.
“As most people across Canada have been struggling, the very wealthiest among us got richer and richer, with some wealthy corporations making record profits because of the pandemic,” Singh said.
A recent report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that Canada’s top 20 billionaires have seen their fortunes grow by $37 billion during the pandemic. In June, a report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) found that Canada’s top 1% holds more than 25% of the country’s wealth.
Following the publication of the PBO report in June, the NDP renewed its call for a wealth tax on Canadian residents whose fortunes exceed $20 million — a proposal Singh once again urged the government to consider on Thursday.
“Right now, we’re seeing grocery store owners increase their profits by billions during a pandemic, while their workers are fighting for a fair wage so they can afford to buy food,” Singh said.
In the speech from the throne last month, the Liberals said they would “identify additional ways to tax extreme wealth inequality, including by concluding work to limit the stock-option deduction for wealthy individuals at large, established corporations, and addressing corporate tax avoidance by digital giants.”
The Liberals also campaigned on a promise to introduce a 10% luxury tax on expensive cars, boats and airplanes — although Singh claimed the proposal had “no credibility.”