Don't Drink the Tea. Think With the WE.

BRIGHT IDEA: Ontario “May” Halt Corporate Tax Cuts. After All, They Froze Employee Wages.

Ontarios Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan

It is a shame that the bar has been lowered so far that something as rational and level-headed as this warrants a celebration. Sadly, that is the tilted world we live in.

Ontario has announced that instead of lowering the corporate tax rate while they’ve frozen employee wages and asked unionized workers to make contract concessions (…that’s our move), they actually might just freeze the corporate tax as well.

From a Reuters piece featuring Finance Minister Dwight Duncan:

“Everybody’s got to have skin in the game. I can’t go and ask the general public to go through this without the business community,” Duncan said in an interview from his office overlooking the provincial legislature.

“What I hear from thoughtful business people is that they want us to get back to balance and they get it … nobody is talking about raising the corporate tax rate other than the (New Democratic Party). We’re talking about freezing it.”

Duncan said the government is sticking to its plan to freeze the compensation budgets for public sector workers, which would require either pay freezes or job cuts.

Wages and other compensation account for almost 60 percent of government spending and some big contracts for unionized workers such as teachers are to be negotiated later this year.

“(Non-unionized employees) have had a two-year wage freeze and now the unionized workers are going to have to do that,” he said, adding that Ontario’s public sector wage settlements are now below those of the private sector and federal government.

The province’s strategy has had mixed success, with some unions winning pay increases from sympathetic arbitrators.

Did he just say what I think he said? Can it be? Is Canada home to “thoughtful business people” who want the province “to get back to balance” even if it means paying their fair share of taxes? This place is amazing!

Whether or not it actually happens, and how long it lasts (the article is titled “Ontario may halt corporate tax cuts until 2017-18), is moot. The fact that someone…anyone…of Duncan’s rank is advancing such an idea is encouraging and, sadly, completely novel.

Read the whole Reuters piece HERE.


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