Tax system removes incentive to work

TheStar.com – Opinion/letter – Tax system removes incentive to work
June 05, 2009

Re: PC candidate calls for end to welfare ‘lifestyle,’ June 4

Human beings are opportunistic, but they are also pragmatic. While it’s not politically correct to characterize some recipients of EI and welfare as having lapsed into a lifestyle of permanent social dependence, it happens. And it can become multi-generational.

But before we start blaming character, Randy Hillier and those of us who are self-sufficient need to look more closely at the reasons for this situation. It’s our oppressive tax system, lack of child-care and culture of “permanent but part-time” employment with no benefits that remove any incentive for people to return to work.

For example, a single parent simply can’t afford to pay for daycare while being paid close to minimum wage, and then having to hand over a third of the paycheque to the government. With what’s left, she or he pays for necessities including extended health care, and is penalized another 13 per cent sales tax. It’s just not economically feasible by any standard.

In fact it’s abhorrent that an adult who works 12 months a year with no benefits and earns under $25,000 should be taxed at all, while banks and oil companies not only pay no tax but are given subsidies, even if they lay off workers.

The way to get people off welfare is by making it practical and more profitable to work.

D. Scott Barclay, Georgetown

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