Winnipeg, MB — “Dealing with poverty and inequality is not only the right thing to do morally, it is also the smart thing to do economically for taxpayers,” said Green Party of Manitoba leader James Beddome as he released the details of the Greens tax reform proposal, which includes a fee on pollution and a basic income for Manitobans.
The Greens plan to implement a $1.58 billion basic income program that will benefit 48 percent of Manitobans in the form of a refundable tax credit delivered through the income tax system. It will feature a guarantee based on family size, with additional amounts made available to people claiming the federal disability tax credit or the infirm dependants tax credit. As family income increases, the maximum value of the Basic Income is reduced at the rate of 13.5 cents per dollar until it reaches $0 at $53,333 of annual income for a single adult and $75,407 of annual income for a two-adult family.
“Our modest Basic Income plan, beginning at $7,200 for a single adult, will have immense impacts. It will lift 41 percent of low income Manitoban adults and 61 per cent of Manitoban children above the poverty line, resulting in 35,000 fewer adults and 23,500 fewer children in poverty. For those adults still in poverty, it will increase their average income by 21 per cent, or $4,890. It will provide a post-secondary student earning $8,000 with $6,120 more per year in disposable income. It will provide the average full-time minimum wage worker with an additional $4,000 or more per year in disposable income per year. It will make it easier to start a business, and provide some cash flow stability for farmers, artists, and other entrepreneurs. Although modest, it will truly be revolutionary,” added Beddome.
The Greens will also implement a pollution fee of $50 per tonne of Carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, that will rise by $10 per year thereafter. In the first year this will raise $487 million in revenue, $342 million of which will be used to lower the first two Manitoba tax brackets from 10.8% to 9.56% and 12.75% to 11.5%.
“Our plan will create a simpler and more progressive tax system and will result in long-term savings to government. Studies show that poverty reduction results in reduced demand for healthcare, policing, justice, and social services and increased educational attainment of young adults” said Beddome.