By Scout McCraw
The Fraser Institute says the 2017 federal budget fails to chart a clear course for Canadian businesses, taxpayers and entrepreneurs.
The non-partisan political think-tank has expressed concern over the budget’s decision to wait on President Trump and it’s reluctance to face hard decisions regarding tax policies.
“With the Trump administration and Congress in the process of negotiating potentially large tax changes south of the border, this sit-on-our-hands approach by Ottawa is not going to do anything to improve our competitiveness or provide any certainty about the future,” Director of fiscal studies at the Fraser Institute Charles Lammam said.
According to the Fraser Institute, the budget does not definitively answer whether or not the rumoured capital gains tax increase will go forward. Additionally, the federal government, in its review of the tax code, has revealed that it will result in nearly an extra $5 billion in tax revenue for the government over the next five years.
“The preliminary results of the tax code review are underwhelming,” Lammam said. “Rather than use the extra revenue to cut tax rates, which would actually foster economic growth, the review means many Canadians will see their tax bill rise instead.”
The Fraser Institute has also indicated that there is no plan to end deficit spending in the 2017 budget. They say the budget predicts a $28.5 billion deficit for 2017/18 and if the government continues on the track its on, it will accrue over 140 billion more dollars in debt over the next six years.
“Deficits and increased debt now increase the likelihood of higher taxes later, and that uncertainty about future taxes impedes investment and entrepreneurship today,” Lammam said.