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A plan to give huge tax breaks to wealthy residents in Saskatchewan has drawn sharp criticisms from CUPE, which has launched a radio and newspaper campaign challenging the government’s priorities.

“Everyone wants tax breaks, but not at the expense of improving health care, or restoring funding to schools and universities,” the ads state.

A government-appointed committee of three accountants with deep pockets has recommended huge cuts to personal income taxes of 30 to 40 per cent. People at the top of the pay scale – accountants and other members of the three-car garage club – will benefit the most. To help pay for this gift to the rich, the committee wants to expand the PST to cover kids clothing, power and gas, and other essentials.

The government is worried wealthy residents will pack up and drive their BMWs to Alberta, if the income tax structure isn’t more “competitive.”

CUPE Saskatchewan president Tom Graham says the union’s campaign is contributing to the debate about the price of these tax cuts. “The $240 million annual net loss in revenues is the equivalent of eliminating the operating grants to universities and technical institutions, or cutting one-third of the acute care budget allocation,” he says.