Taxpayers ask Newfoundland and Labrador to cut spending, lower taxes

Author: 2022/01/27

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is asking the Furey government to cut spending and bring the budget back to balance.

“Premier Andrew Furey was right to bring fresh eyes to find savings in government,” said CTF Interim Atlantic Director Renaud Brossard. “But that entire exercise will be meaningless if the government doesn’t go forward with the savings that have been identified.”

Back in September 2020, Furey tasked Newfoundland-native and former Royal Mail CEO Moya Greene with forming a panel of independent experts to help the province deal with its financial challenges.

Savings identified by Greene and her fellow panelists would amount to $424.5 million in the 2022-23 financial year. The CTF is calling on the government to implement those spending reductions in the upcoming budget.

Taxpayers are also calling on the Furey government to cancel its plans to implement a pop tax in September.

“International experience is clear: pop taxes take money away from families, but don’t shrink people’s waistlines,” said Brossard. “With inflation at decades-high levels, the last thing Newfoundland and Labrador families need is for the government to dig deeper into their pockets.”

When Mexico introduced a pop tax in 2014, proponents argued it would lead to a two to four pound drop in mean population weight, equivalent to 2.7 per cent of total body mass. Two years in, and the body mass for both men and women and risen by 0.7 per cent.

Similar results were observed in Denmark, France and Hungary.

Inflation hit 4.8 per cent in December 2021, the highest level observed in the country since 1991.

The CTF is asking the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to lower Newfoundlanders’ and Labradorians’ income tax bills by 10 per cent. For a taxpayer earning $50,000 this year, the savings would represent $451 annually.

“We’ve all felt it at the grocery store or at the pump: prices have risen sharply,” said Brossard. “By taking less cash out of taxpayers’ pockets, the government would help struggling Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

The measures proposed by the CTF would reinvest $258.4 million into Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy, which would be made possible thanks to $683.1 million in budgetary savings. On net, it would lower the province’s deficit by $424.7 million based on estimates for 2022-23.

The CTF’s entire pre-budget submission is available at this link: https://www.taxpayer.com/media/NL%20Prebudget%202022%20-%20Righting%20the%20fiscal%20ship.pdf

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