The increasing inequality gap

TheStar.com – opinion/letters – Re: Most favour higher tax to fight inequality, April 10
Published On Sat Apr 14 2012.   Virginia Ridley / Dora Robinson

I’m not surprised by the results of the poll released by the Broadbent Institute on income inequality in Canada. Studies from all over the world have shown that the growing gap between the super-rich and everyone else is creating real problems, particularly with young people and anyone who is at or near the bottom of the economic ladder. We know for a fact that there is a direct correlation between levels of income and the rate of poverty, chronic disease, addiction, mental illness and incarceration. The poll also shows that Canadians believe the inequality gap is undermining our democracy and core values. These values are under attack from the increasing inequality gap and all fair-minded Canadians want this situation reversed. The fastest way to close the inequality gap is by making our taxation system fairer. A slight increase on the wealthiest, as suggested by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath, is a step in the right direction. But more than that we need a conscious effort by governments at all levels to recognize the facts on the ground and to begin implementing policies that will take us back to our values of fairness and equality.

Virginia Ridley, London, Ont.

I don’t begrudge Ontario’s millionaires their millions. But I also don’t think it’s too much to ask them to pay a little more when so many in the province have been asked to sacrifice so much. To me it’s a question of fairness. We all have to tighten our belts a little to get the deficit down and they probably have a bit more room to spare when it comes to tightening. Much more than a mother on social assistance with a couple of kids who’s already going to the food bank every week. I hope that Premier Dalton McGuinty will seriously consider the NDP’s suggestion for a surtax on the richest, not just to avoid an election, but because it is the right thing to do.

Dora Robinson, Aurora

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