Opinion Column

Nothing fair about Liberal tax plan for small business: BRASSARD

Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard

Barrie-Innisfil MP John Brassard

Small-business owners are tax cheats. They are rich people abusing the system to avoid paying their fair share.

 

That’s what Justin Trudeau and Bill Morneau believe.

The Liberals latest planned tax hike on business owners is being framed as an attempt to close loopholes for the wealthy 1% and those who “live in gated communities” and you may think you are in the clear.

But think again.

Of the 11.6 million Canadians employed in the private sector, over 70% are employed by small businesses. They include young entrepreneurs, farmers, mom-and-pop stores and your family doctor.

Canada’s local businesses deserve respect from their government. They are the backbone of our economy.

Most business owners in Barrie-Innisfil and across the country are middle-class Canadians — the people who put their time, effort and sweat into paying the bills and paying their employees before they pay themselves.

They’re not big multinational corporations; they’re our neighbours and the Trudeau Liberals are targeting them with a massive tax hike, threatening jobs and the communities that are sustained by our local businesses.

But this should come as no surprise.

Trudeau thinks most small businesses are just vehicles used by wealthy Canadians to avoid paying taxes.

That’s wrong, and it’s insulting to the Canadians who have worked hard to build up their local businesses.

The vast majority of local business operators don’t have pensions or government bailouts to fall back on like Trudeau does.

Whatever money they save helps them pay their workers during a bad year, or for retirement after a lifetime of work.

Since the 2015 election, Trudeau has branded himself a champion of the middle-class, yet the policies of his government make him anything but.

So far, he has increased personal income tax, cancelled the promised local business tax-rate reduction, and rolled out a nationalized carbon tax that will further squeeze the margins of countless businesses.

And why is he doing this? It’s because Trudeau has a spending problem.

He inherited a balanced budget and a growing economy yet he has plunged Canada deep into annual deficits without any plan to return to balance for generations.

Now he is going to local businesses with his hand out, demanding they pay for his reckless spending.

The Liberals say they want things to be fair, but how can you compare a salaried employee with access to health benefits, a company retirement plan, paid vacations and job security with a small-business owner who has none of these advantages and who has risked everything just to open their doors?

Let’s be clear, this isn’t a crackdown on greedy corporations.

On the contrary it’s an assault on the middle class and those working hard just to stay in it.

There’s nothing fair about this Liberal plan.

Local businesses grow our communities and create jobs. They need our support, not higher taxes.

Canada’s Conservatives are going to fight Trudeau’s attack on local businesses every step of the way.

John Brassard is the MP for Barrie-Innisfil and the deputy Opposition whip.