From the Simons campaign newsroom:
Mentioning the Unmentionable
Posted on March 23rd, 2011
Written by kellyf
How do we get sensible taxes in BC?
What are the best ways for the provincial government to get the money to pay for new or expanded programs and services to benefit the people of British Columbia?
NDP leadership candidate Nicholas Simons believes we simply have to start talking seriously about a subject that has been politically unmentionable for many years: raising additional revenues for government.
“It’s clear to me that we cannot reduce poverty, or make post-secondary education more affordable, or end homelessness, or ensure adequate health care by cutting programs and services,” he said. “So we will need to increase the revenue of the provincial government.”
Simons made the comments as he released the details of his campaign platform on fiscal policy. A key feature of the package is a fair tax and revenue commission to lay the groundwork for continuing discussions about changes in taxes and other sources of revenue.
The commission would publish a paper describing possible taxation options. The proposals would then go to an NDP policy convention for decisions on the options. They would then be incorporated into the next NDP election platform.
“We absolutely promise to tell voters in advance what to expect from an NDP government,” said Simons. “There will no surprises and definitely no post-election trickery.”
The principles of Simons’ fiscal policy are:
- Fair taxation based on the ability to pay.
- Including all sources of revenue in determining fairness.
- Fairness over the life course of taxpayers.
Simons’ life course approach allows people to look at the taxes they pay over the course of their adult lives and the benefits they receive at certain stages of their lives.
Take the life course of a two-earner couple with two children, for example. When the children are young, they need child care. Later in life, they will need post-secondary education. The Simons team estimates that child care for the two children could cost $146,442 over the years under current child care arrangements and post-secondary tuition could cost $39,140, for a total lifetime burden on the household of $185,582.
Simons has promised significant new support to help cover child care fees and significant reductions in the cost of post-secondary education as part of his leadership campaign. That would reduce the cost of child care and post-secondary tuition to a lifetime total of $36,901.
The provincial treasury would obviously need hefty sums of money to cover the cost of these changes. Hypothetically, even an extraordinary increase of 25 percent in provincial income taxes would still leave a net benefit for the family of $39,342 over the 40 years when the parents are between the ages of 25 and 65.
To review details of Simons’ calculations and his overall fiscal policy are, please click on the following link: Fiscal Policy