The spring budget tax cut is still on, Premier François Legault says

TikTok is out, even on the premier’s phone and those of his cabinet ministers. But Quebec has no indication there was any meddling by foreign powers in the recent general election.

Article content

QUEBEC — The tax cut promised in the last election will be included in the spring budget because it remains an excellent way to stimulate the economy, Premier François Legault said Thursday.

Advertisement 2

Article content

And while saying there is no reason to believe there was any foreign meddling in the Oct. 3, 2022 provincial election, Legault confirmed he too has dropped the TikTok application from his smartphone. His cabinet ministers have also removed it, and Quebec has banned the installation and use of the application on government cellphones.

Article content

“I think it’s important to reduce income taxes for two reasons,” Legault said. “First, to help people to have more money in their pocket and second as an incentive for the economy.

“As you know, I want to reduce the difference in wealth between Quebec and the rest of North America, and I think it’s important to put incentives for that to happen.”

Over the last few weeks, an array of lobby groups have stepped forward urging the Coalition Avenir Québec government to reconsider the income tax cuts promised in the election.

Article content

Advertisement 3

Article content

That includes the province’s largest employer group, the Conseil du Patronat. Various youth groups have asked the government to drop the cut because Quebec intends to pay for it by dipping into the debt-cutting Generations Fund, which they say will penalize future generations.

The latest group is the province’s powerful labour movement. In a joint statement, the four big unions including the FTQ and CSN called on Quebec to drop the tax cut idea and instead spend the money improving government services.

In the election campaign, the CAQ pledged to drop income taxes for individuals by one percentage point for the first two tax brackets. The cut would cost the treasury $2 billion in the first year and and a total of $7.4 billion over the four years of the government’s mandate.

Advertisement 4

Article content

A person earning $80,000 a year would see their tax bill drop by $620.

Legault and his Finance Minister Eric Girard have stuck to their guns, saying the cut will be, as planned, included in the March 21 annual budget.

The people seem to agree with them too. On Thursday, a Léger poll conducted for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) revealed 64 per cent of Quebecers support a tax cut for individuals and small businesses.

The poll of 1,063 Quebecers was conducted Feb 24-26.

Legault made the comments emerging from meeting with the mayor of Quebec City, Bruno Marchand. If relations appeared strained in the past between the two, that appeared to be over on this occasion.

Legault was at city hall for a ceremony where he was made honorary mayor of the city, a tradition set out in Quebec City’s charter.

Advertisement 5

Article content

In his remarks, Legault returned to a theme he used in the election, saying he would like Quebec City to become the second metropolis of the province. That includes increasing the number of immigrants in the provincial capital.

He was asked about recent developments in Ottawa, where allegations of election interference by the Chinese have been raging for days.

“I have no indication that was interference,” Legault said.

Legault added that even if Quebec is now the only province in Canada which has yet to sign an agreement with Ottawa over the recently negotiated health funding transfer, it will soon.

“I expect we will sign the agreement,” Legault said. “As I said there’s no conditions (on the use of the money) so of course we will sign the agreement.

“It’s about $1 billion a year. We were asking for a lot more than that. It’s not enough. It’s clear. But of course we’ll accept the money.”

[email protected]


Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Join the Conversation

    Advertisement 1

Leave a comment

SMM Panel PDF Kitap indir