Innocent oversight

Dear Rodney,

Thank you for placing a carbon tax estimator on the Progressive Conservative Nova Scotia Caucus website. As someone like you who is engaged in our democracy, I always appreciate it when our elected officials make an effort to educate the public about their various policy choices and what the impacts of those choices could be.

It’s in that spirit that I draw to your attention a critical missing component of your carbon tax estimator. As you know, the Liberal Green Shift plan, as well as the more detailed and aggressive Green Party “green tax shift” on which  it is based, both hinge on a carbon tax being offset by reductions in other taxes, primarily payroll and income. Your carbon tax estimator attempts to tell people how much they would pay in carbon taxes, but does not also allow them to calculate how much they’ll save in reduced income and payroll taxes (what someone more clever than I has called a “tax cut on everything”).

This oversight, which I’m sure is innocent and accidental, inadvertently gives Nova Scotians a very inaccurate impression of what a green tax shift would actually mean for them. I trust that you’ll address this error promptly now that it has been brought to your attention.



2 thoughts on “Innocent oversight

  1. If the Liberals had not made the plan so complicated then it might be possible to calculate how much a person would save on income taxes. But since a large chunk of the tax reductions are actually tax credits, and not tax reductions, and because it is not an across-the-board cut, but rather it is different for the various tax brackets, it is not simple matter.

    Higher income people will receive almost no income tax cut.

    I think for the most part if is safe to assume that the savings on income taxes are less than increase in fuel taxes, if you look at the numbers the Liberals provided.

  2. Hey everyone, Chris just said I’m more clever than him! (I coined the phrase “tax cut on everything”).

    But SF, you’re wrong, it’s not so hard to get a rough calculation of your tax breaks (no more or less approximate than your carbon tax calculator) – and the Liberals did it and put it on their site: (choose the “calculator” tab).

    Higher income people seem to max out at $2344 per year, which is still enough to pay for almost 60 tonnes of carbon – TWELVE TIMES the average person’s emissions. Your statement that savings are less than increases is nonsensical unless you challenge the assertion of revenue neutrality – which is a criticism of the party (and their honesty) rather than the policy. Or if the higher benefits to the poor (averaged by lower benefits to the rich) is what you mean – and then your statement would only be accurate for some people.

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