A report released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute says more than 80 percent of Canada’s middle-class are paying higher taxes under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government.
On average, that means the government will demand $804 more from those households this year.
That finding conflicts with Trudeau’s persistent mantra that his government has done the exact opposite. Just last Thursday, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Trudeau bragged that his government had “raised taxes on the wealthiest one percent so that we could lower them on the middle class.”
“The often repeated claim from the Trudeau government, that it reduced income taxes for the vast majority of middle-class Canadian families, is false,” says Charles Lammam, Fraser Institute fiscal studies director and co-author of the new report. “Measuring the Impact of Federal Personal Income Tax Changes on Middle Income Canadian Families.”
The conservative-leaning but non-partisan public policy think tank says Trudeau’s middle-class rhetoric is just that.
“The federal government has repeatedly claimed they’ve lowered income taxes for the middle class while in reality, taking their major income tax changes into account, they’ve actually raised taxes on the vast majority of middle-class families,” Lammam says in a news release from the institute.
In precise terms, 81 percent of Canadian families with children — earning between $77,089 and $107,624 — will be paying more.
The study shows how the Trudeau government is exhibiting a robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul approach to income tax. While decreasing the second lowest tax level from 22 to 20.5 percent, it eliminated the income splitting policy of the previous Conservative government as well as a number of tax credits. The net result is a further income tax deficit for middle-class Canadians.
The Trudeau government has dispensed with popular tax credits for children’ fitness, education and public transit.
“By promoting one of its many income tax changes and downplaying the others, Ottawa is leaving Canadians with an incomplete picture of the overall impact of their tax changes, which is burdening the vast majority of middle-class families with a higher income tax bill,” says Lammam.