"We have to help the vulnerable and those affected most severely by the downturn. But you can't do that and leave the middle class to fend for itself. A program like that would not be successful," Harper said.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has said his budget would contain some form of tax cuts to spur spending.
But the final budget could depend upon the wishes of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff.
"There is a distinction between the kind of tax cuts that I favour, and the broader tax cuts that Harper and Flaherty are talking about," Ignatieff told reporters in Vancouver on Thursday. He said those tax cuts should be aimed at the "least fortunate."
Last week, Ignatieff said it's going to be very important to get stimulus into the Canadian economy fast.
"So we may be looking at tax cuts very quickly — tax cuts targeted at medium- and low-income [earners] to boost their purchasing power fast," he said.www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/01/16/harper-budget.html
In almost all cases I am in favor of tax cuts, but.. what taxes can they cut that would help the most vulnerable? If you are unemployed, an income tax cut isn't a great deal of help. In general, a further cut to GST isn't going to make great difference either. Unless they eliminate it altogether and there is little chance of that. So if their goal is in fact to stimulate spending and thus the economy overall, and to help the most vulnerable, what taxes could they be talking about that would achieve these things without further significant reduction of the Governments ability to fund the social net?
Something for Harper and Ignatieff to think about.
1. Low income earners have very little to no disposable income and do not engage in any significant amount of discretionary spending.
2. If you don't have a job, and even worse any EI benefits, what tax cuts are going to be of significant benefit?
3. If you cut income taxes for what politicians conceive as the middle class, isn't that going to result in even higher deficits or cuts to social spending ala Paul Martin?
4. When do you guys start pitching in and suffering a bit of the pain too, like ceasing and desisting with the PORK?