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The Saskatchewan division of the Canadian Union of Public Employees is urging Finance Minister Eric Cline not to adopt the taxation proposals of the Vicq report in the provincial budget to be delivered on March 29.

“Implementation of the Vicq report would represent a huge windfall for the rich at the expense of our social programs,” said Tom Graham, president of CUPE Saskatchewan. “It would create a regressive, flatter personal income tax system and expand the PST to children’s clothing, used goods and other items which would fall disproportionately on low and middle-income earners.”

Graham said that someone earning $25,000 a year will receive a modest income tax cut of $230 under the plan, but an individual with an annual salary of $150,000 will realize $7,000 in income tax savings. He added that the PST expansion would wipe out any income tax savings for those making under $25,000.

“Cline should resist the hysterical outcry for tax cuts from the business lobby, the Saskatchewan Party and the right-wing Canadian Taxpayers Federation and remain true to the traditional NDP policy of fair taxation.”

Graham said the $240 million that would be needed to implement the tax reform plan would be better spent on boosting funding to health care, education, community-based organizations and other public services which have borne the brunt of cutbacks when the provincial deficit was being reduced.

“The provincial government rightly criticized the federal budget for lack of new funding for health care,” he said. “But it would be hypocritical for the province to question the sustainability of our health care system and then throw away hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues in a futile attempt to appease the business lobby.” CUPE represents over 22,000 members in Saskatchewan who work at health care facilities, school boards, municipalities, universities, libraries and community-based organizations.

For more information, contact:
Tom Graham 229-8171

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