Taxpayers Federation calls for lower taxes to stimulate growth in New Brunswick 2019 Pre-Budget Submission
- Reducing income taxes by 10 per cent would save New Brunswickers $170 million
FREDERICTON, NB: Today the Canadian Taxpayers Federation delivered its 2019 Pre-Budget Submission to the New Brunswick government.
The submission calls for a reduction in income and business taxes for New Brunswickers of all income levels. Research shows that reducing business taxes would actually allow New Brunswick to generate more government revenue. Reducing income taxes by 10 per cent would save New Brunswick taxpayers $170 million.
“New Brunswickers pay some of the highest taxes in the country, so it’s no wonder job creators and professionals are leaving the province to find employment,” said CTF Atlantic Director Paige MacPherson. “The New Brunswick government is facing a now-or-never situation. It needs to lower taxes to stimulate job growth and keep working people in the province.”
Government spending in New Brunswick is a significantly larger share of GDP than in any other province outside of Prince Edward Island. If spending had been capped at the rate of inflation and population growth since 2011, the government would have run a nearly $300-million surplus in 2019-20.
“Premier Higgs and Finance Minister Steeves deserve praise for reducing spending by $200 million, but more work needs to be done to avoid credit downgrades, greater outmigration, and declining quality in health care and education,” said MacPherson.
New Brunswick’s debt is increasing. At $14.1 billion, each New Brunswicker is carrying more than $18,500 in government debt. In 2018-19, the province is wasting $665 million on debt interest payments. That’s 35 per cent of what the province receives in equalization, dedicated to debt interest payments alone.
Equalization transfers from Ottawa comprise 20 per cent of New Brunswick’s total budget and federal transfers and grants account for 34 per cent.
“The path toward fiscal sustainability is a path toward financial independence, and we give Premier Higgs big kudos for calling for equalization reform,” said MacPherson. “We suggest the province gradually shift away from dependence on equalization transfers. The brighter future for New Brunswickers is held in being a have province, not remaining a have-not.”