But he’s still proposing a carbon tax.
PC Leader Patrick Brown is promising tax cuts for middle class Ontarians, along with lower hydro rates and more affordable childcare.
The promises were made in the “People’s Guarantee,” the PC Party’s 2018 campaign platform.
As noted by the CP, “The tax cuts, childcare refund and hydro cuts are part of five promises that make up the core of the Tory plan and also include a pledge to spend $1.9 billion over the next decade to create a mental health-care system. And in a direct jab at Premier Kathleen Wynne’s government, Brown said he plans to introduce legislation to address integrity and accountability at Queen’s Park.”
Brown said that if he did not keep his five core promises, he would not run for a second term.
On the positive side, Brown’s tax cuts would make reductions in the rates paid by low-income and middle class people, taking full effect by the year 2022.
Here’s a breakdown of the proposed reductions:
Up to $42,960 – 5.05% down to 4.5%
$42,960 – $85,923 – 9.15% down to 7.1%
Additionally, “The plan would also introduce the Ontario Child Care Refund, a tax credit based on household income. Under the plan, a mother who earns $35,000 a year and has a child under six would be eligible for a refund of $6,750 in child care costs.”
Hydro rates would also be cut under the plan, by an average of $173 per year.
Basically a Liberal plan
While the lower tax rates would be an improvement over the current Liberal government, most of the plan could easily have been written by the Kathleen Wynne Liberals.
It shifts the cap-and-trade program to a carbon tax, and while the PC’s pledge to return all proceeds of the plan to Ontario taxpayers, those promises have been broken by governments in other provinces. Additionally, the PC plan represents a capitulation to the targets set by Justin Trudeau, rather than pushing back against his dangerous agenda.
The PCs pledged to bring in more government accountability measures, though that is a promise made by every opposition party, and only actions in government can demonstrate whether those promises are real.
Additionally, the CP report notes that “The plan will also keep many of the Liberal’s biggest spending plans including free pharma care for anyone under the age of 24 years old, all-day kindergarten and the free tuition plan for post-secondary students.”
So, while there may be slightly lower taxes with the PC plan, much of the plan is a continuation of Kathleen Wynne’s policies. Clearly, the PCs have settled on a strategy of mostly copying what the Liberals are doing, while hoping that anger towards the government will be enough for voters to demand a change.
The danger of that strategy – aside from continuing fiscally unsustainable plans in a highly indebted province – is that core PC voters will have less enthusiasm and commitment, and many may stay home if they feel there isn’t a real choice.
Photo – YouTube