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Tax Debate Comes Down To How You Frame It

September 8, 2017 (Ottawa, ON) – A new Mainstreet/Postmedia poll finds the Liberals continue to lead on the federal scene The Mainstreet/Postmedia poll has a margin of error of +/- 2.19 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

“The House of Commons will begin the fall session with the Liberal government up 11 points over the opposition Conservatives,” said Quito Maggi, President of Mainstreet Research (@MainStResearch). “As we approach the mid way point in Justin Trudeau’s mandate, the Liberals are at 43% among decided and leaning voters, the Conservatives sit at 32% and the NDP continues to struggle at 15%. If an election were held today we would expect another Liberal Majority government with the numbers in Quebec particularly strong for the Liberals.”

“A majority of Canadians continue to approve of the job the Prime Minister is doing (55%) while the opposition leaders struggle to make headway with voters. Andrew Scheer sits at 34% approval, Tom Mulcair at 36%, Martine Ouellet at 36%, and Elizabeth May at 35%. While the Prime Minister continues to have the highest approval, he also has the highest disapproval at 40% with just 5% of Canadians not sure about his performance. This is in sharp contrast with the opposition leaders who all have more than 3 in 10 Canadians unsure about their performance, highest for Andrew Scheer with almost 4 in 10 (39%). All party leaders have net positive approvals including Andrew Scheer (+6), Tom Mulcair (+2), Martine Ouellet (+4) and Elizabeth May (+4). Trudeau’s net approval is +15.”

“When asked how they feel about taxation of various groups, more Canadians believe the middle class is paying too much (55%) than high income earners (19%), low income earners (42%), small business (39%), or large corporations (11%). In contrast, more Canadians believe that large corporations and high income earners are paying too little (both at 54%) than other groups including the middle class (4%), low income earners (9%), and small business (11%).”

“The Federal government is currently seeking to reform several provisions of the tax code and we can see from the polling numbers that the debate could be won or lost depending on how the change is framed. On the one hand, 39% of Canadians believe businesses are paying too much tax but on the other hand, Canadians would clearly like to see high income earners and large corporations pay more in taxes.”

“76% of Canadians say tax loopholes are either a big problem (45%) or somewhat of a problem. Looking at these numbers it’s clear why the government is not backing down from their proposals.”

“Canadians do not regard tax evasion as inevitable. 68% say that government can either do a lot or some to make sure everyone pays a fair share of taxes. Feelings of inquality, regardless of whether or not they are justified, can become a major factor in shaping voter intentions. For now, it appears the government would prefer to be doing too much than not enough – and the numbers suggest the desire is strong to see additional tax measures that affect the very wealthy.”

“When it comes to tax reform it’s all in the eye of the beholder. Groups fighting the new tax provisions have been smart to focus on the potential impact to small business rather than to talk about how this would affect wealthy Canadians but their campaign against these tax changes comes during a difficult environment,” finished Maggi.

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Mainstreet – Nat. Taxes by Mainstreet on Scribd