Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff would cancel planned corporate tax cuts and take longer to eliminate the deficit in order to pay for new spending priorities identified at the Liberal thinkers’ conference in Montreal.
Ignatieff announced that a Liberal government would freeze the corporate tax rate at 18%, indefinitely deferring the Harper government’s plan to cut the tax to 15% by 2012.
We’re not the NDP here. We believe passionately in competitive corporate tax rates. We’re telling you though, we can’t afford them now. There’s just too much we have to do to get our fiscal house in order and make the investments that will make us a productive society.
– Michael Ignatieff
Ignatieff also pledged that a Liberal government would reduce the deficit to 1% of GDP within two years of taking office, somewhat slower than the Harper government’s plan which projects the deficit will fall below 1% of GDP in fiscal year 2012-13.
Ignatieff says these measures are needed to pay for the new spending priorities identified at the conference, which include national strategies for:
- Education and training, including a focus on illiteracy, language training for new Canadians, early learning and child care;
- Health care, including a focus on preventative health, home care for seniors, and increasing the compassionate care EI benefit from the current 16 weeks, and;
- Clean technology and renewable energy.
- Video: Ignatieff defends taxes and activist government (September 21, 2009)