RM
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RM Issue #030629

Free from tax in just 6 months
By BILL RODGERS -- Sat, June 28, 2003


OTTAWA -- It's Tax Freedom Day! It has arrived two days later than last year, according to the Fraser Institute. Canadians continue to work almost half the year to pay for taxes, fees and levies.

The institute's Jason Clemens says an average family of two or more earning $73,718 would pay $35,808 in taxes. That represents an increase of $1,263 this year.

While federal and many provincial governments have cut taxes, the institute says most taxpayers don't feel like they have more money in their pockets.

For example, the Chretien government boasts that it has cut taxes by $100 billion, but Clemens notes the feds imposed one of the largest tax hikes in history in 1997.

"The increase in the Canada Pension Plan premiums erased 75% of the tax cuts implemented by the federal government," Clemens said. "We're not feeling like our tax burden is going down and the reason (taxpayers) feel that way is because it really isn't going down."

Alliance finance critic Monte Solberg said the numbers have exposed the "sham" behind the government's tax relief program.

"If people are wondering why our economy languishes, why it can't perform as well as it should, it's no big mystery to me," Solberg said. "High levels of spending mean higher taxes. Higher taxes mean fewer jobs."



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