CLC calls for tax cuts

Krishna Lalbiharie umlalbi0 at SPAMcc.UManitoba.CA
Thu Aug 26 12:36:32 MDT 1999

>                   Wednesday, Aug 25, 1999
>                   Labour calls for tax cuts
>                    OTTAWA (CP) - Move over Paul Martin and
>                    Preston Manning: some labour leaders are
>                    joining the call for tax cuts. In an unusual
>                    step, the head of the Canadian Labour
>                    Congress called Wednesday for tax cuts
>                    aimed at low- and middle-income earners.
>                    Ken Georgetti admits this represents a "shift
>                    in emphasis" for the labour congress, which
>                    represents 2.1 million workers.
>                    But Canadians are calling for tax relief, he
>                    said.
>                    And since Martin, the Liberal finance
>                    minister, and his government intend to direct
>                    part of the federal surplus towards tax relief,
>                    average citizens should get the benefit, said
>                    Georgetti.
>                    "If there's going to be consideration to apply
>                    some of that surplus to relieving taxes on
>                    Canadians, surely to God the answer isn't to
>                    give the rich more money," Georgetti said in
>                    an interview.
>                    At the same time, he also urged Martin to
>                    reinvest more in social programs from the
>                    budget surplus, estimated to reach more
>                    than $10 billion this year.
>                    Traditionally, labour and the New Democratic
>                    Party, which most unions support, are more
>                    interested in enriched social programs than
>                    in seeing revenues for those programs
>                    slashed.
>                    Georgetti's call, which comes almost on the
>                    eve of the NDP national convention, echoes
>                    a proposed new party policy suggesting tax
>                    relief for low- and middle-income earners.
>                    That policy will be debated by New
>                    Democrats this weekend in Ottawa.
>                    But it's a mistake, warns another labour
>                    leader.
>                    Social democrats shouldn't be rushing to
>                    take on right-wing issues like tax cuts,
>                    contended Buzz Hargrove, head of the
>                    powerful Canadian Auto Workers union.
>                    "Our problem in Canada isn't (that) taxes are
>                    too high, our problem is we're paid too little,"
>                    Hargrove said in an interview.
>                    Voters who support a tax cut agenda aren't
>                    likely friends of labour or of the NDP anyway,
>                    he added.
>                    "We're getting caught in the Reform party
>                    platform of saying we're overtaxed.
>                    "If that's going to be the issue, you might as
>                    well vote for the one (party) that's going to
>                    really do it (cut taxes deeply) and doesn't
>                    give a damn about social programs."
>                    Georgetti argues Canadians have been badly
>                    hurt by taxes that have been steadily rising
>                    with inflation for the last decade, while at
>                    the same time their wages have been flat.
>                    Working Canadians helped build the federal
>                    surplus and should now get a break, he
>                    added.
>                    "We also recognize that people, in a time of
>                    surplus, need some tax relief."
>                           © The Canadian Press, 1999

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