Raitt Listens to Milton Businesses on Proposed Tax Reforms

By: Laura Steiner

Members of Milton’s business community packed a classroom at the Milton Education Village Monday night.  They were there to voice their concerns over proposed tax changes by the Trudeau government.  The event was co-hosted by Milton MP Lisa Raitt, and the Milton Chamber of Commerce.  Raitt stepped up, and introduced the topic, before handing it over the business owners themselves.

The changes include an end to what is known as income sprinkling.  It’s the practice of spreading income among family members.  Melissa Coulson is a local accountant employing 12 people.  She questions the government’s ability to enforce.  “New rules will make it worse,” she said.

Other proposed reforms include changes to passive income ( the money business owners can put into business).  Ontario Medical Association (OMA) President Dr. Shawn Watley believes this change is going to be negative.  “This will have a disastrous effect on Doctors not only in this province, but across the country. For doctors, this could mean less equipment, and less staff.  “Healthcare in Ontario will be affected.  If you come after doctors, it will affect patient care.” Milton MP Lisa Raitt said.

The federal government is doing this on a 75 day consultation period, which ends with October 2, 2017.   “Why are we having such a short consultation period?” Raitt asked.   Many who attended the meeting believe extending the consultation period would be counted as a victory.

Ontario is introducing labour changes that include an increase in the provincial minimum wage, as well as introducing paid sick time for all workers.  The combined impact of federal, and provincial changes is so far unknown.  “There’s no economic impact on any of this,” Raitt said in an interview.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau recently made an appearance on CBC Radio.  “He admitted, they don’t know how much money it’s going to take in (to government accounts), which means they have no idea how much money this is going to cost and that’s scary,” Raitt said.  The Conservatives have not done any estimates.

The changes touch on every sector of the economy.  “If you were at the town hall tonight, what you would be worrying about farmers, and whether or not they would be able to have their children work in their farms.  You would be worried about kids getting their first jobs, like at Tim Hortons, where although they will be seeing an increase in minimum wage; what they are going to be seeing is an increase in their benefits.  What they are going to be seeing is having to pay for their own uniform.”  Raitt said.  Raitt continued lamenting the effects on customers.  “It always ends up trickling down to the consumer,” she said.

There is a rally coming up outside Bill Morneau’s constituency office October 1, 2017.  Petitions are circulating as well, including one from a group called: Concerned Patients of Canada.