Economy & Markets

“Middle tax brackets” will benefit from cuts, finance minister says

By Canadian Press |
Source: The Canadian Press

Quebec will announce personal income tax cuts next week as well as changes to its welfare system, Finance Minister Carlos Leitão said Wednesday.

Details of the reductions and the changes to social benefits will be made public in an economic update to be released Tuesday.

In a video posted to Facebook, Leitão said Quebecers in the "middle tax brackets" will benefit from cuts.

"It won't be for the richest," Leitão said in the video alongside Premier Philippe Couillard. "But Quebecers in the middle-income tax brackets will receive very concretely a reduction in the taxes they pay."

Quebec tabled its third consecutive balanced budget last spring, which included a modest $55 tax cut for the 2017 tax year.

Opposition parties ridiculed the government at the time for what was described as a meagre offering and a pathetic attempt to give back crumbs to Quebecers who suffered from Liberal budget cuts in the early part of their mandate.

Leitão said the economic update will also include good news for Quebecers who do not pay any income taxes and who receive welfare and other government benefits.

Out of the 6.5 million Quebecers who filed a return for the 2013 tax year, 2.4 million, or slightly more than 37%, did not pay any income taxes, according to the latest government figures.

"These people will be able to benefit from an anti-poverty road map that will be very detailed, concrete and innovative," Leitão said.

"What we will do in Quebec inside this road map is not being done elsewhere in North America."

The government has promised to bring 100,000 Quebecers out of poverty.

In last spring's budget, Leitão said Quebec was on pace to end the 2017-18 fiscal year with a $2.5-billion surplus.