NDP Leader Jack Layton asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper Thursday to cancel planned corporate tax cuts and use the savings to spend more to alleviate poverty, particularly among aboriginals and seniors.
The two met privately for about half an hour Thursday afternoon in Harper's Parliament Hill office. Layton told reporters after that meeting that Harper did not commit himself to any course of action and Layton said his party will wait to see the budget on March 4 before deciding if they can support it.
"We didn't get any promises but we laid out a case and the proposition to the prime minister was, we're not out of the recession until people are back at work. He said he agreed with me," Layton said.
Layton said seniors, in particular, could be helped out with "a modest investment"that could be paid for by foregoing a series of planned cuts to the corporate income tax rate. The Liberal government of Paul Martin had first introduced a five-year schedule of corporate tax cuts in the 2005 budget. The Harper government, upon taking office in 2006, adopted and extended those cuts. For the next fiscal year, 2010-2011, the corporate income tax rate is to drop from 18% to 16.5% and by 2012 will be 15%.
"The banks and oil companies don't need the help. They're not contributing to more innovation in our economy . . . or employment in our economy," said Layton.
BY DAVID AKIN
Click to view image: 'Jack Layton (NDP)'
Tags: Capitalism's a Bitch, Stephen Harper, Jack Layton, Poverty
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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