With many predicting a recession and with inflation at a level not seen in 30 years, an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of the MEI finds that more than seven in ten Canadians (72%) think the individual tax burden is too high, compared to one in five (21%) who think it’s at an acceptable level.
“The results of this poll reflect the weight of the tax burden on families,” explains Olivier Rancourt, Economist at the MEI. “In these times of economic uncertainty, few of them have the room to manoeuvre needed to build up an emergency fund or any kind of cushion for themselves. Don’t forget that taxes are households’ number one expense, and by a long shot.”
Some 42% of Canadians also think the tax burden of companies is too low, but 71% realize that increasing the tax burden for companies will end up penalizing them as consumers because it will lead to higher prices.
“People expect governments to do their part to lighten their tax burden. They already feel they’re overtaxed, and they suspect that trying to squeeze more out of companies will just end up penalizing them indirectly,” says Krystle Wittevrongel, Senior Policy Analyst and Alberta Project Lead at the MEI.
- Among those who believe the tax rate for income over $250,000 should be higher than 50%, the majority think the rate should be 55%; 28% believe the rate should be 65%.
- More than three quarters (77%) of Canadians believe that the rich will be tempted to leave or transfer their assets to more attractive countries if their taxes increase too much; almost two thirds (64%) think fiscal laws are much too complex.
- 4 in 10 Canadians (41%) believe that an increase of the tax burden for the ‘rich’ and the ‘very rich’ would have a positive impact.
- More than a majority (55%) of Canadians believe that the ‘very rich’ use their money to buy luxury goods and services; a quarter (24%) believe they invest in companies and create jobs.
- Canadians are divided about the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year.