Public Interest Alberta (PIA) says a fair tax system would go a long way in shifting the tax burden off of middle and low wage income earners in the province and help restore recent cuts to social services. PIA’s Executive Director Bill Moore-Kilgannon says, a progressive income tax increase on the top 6 percent of wage earners, would bring in an additional $1 billion dollars of revenue per year. Added to that he says, if the corporate tax rate was also raised by 2 percent to the same 12% level as Saskatchewan, that would allow the province to pay for another a billion dollars in social programs. “It is time that we have a serious conversation about how to make our tax system fairer and able to support the quality public services that Albertans need and value,” says Moore-Kilgannon.

 

PIA commissioned a poll that suggests that 51 per cent of the 1,007 adults polled in Alberta would support a progressive income tax system, in which tax rates increase along with set income thresholds. The Environics poll has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.

 

The Vice President of the United Nurses Association Local 70 points to recent cuts made to post secondary funding during what she says is a nursing shortage. Donna Bitz says, “with a third of Alberta nurses set to retire by 2016, Medicine Hat College should be adding student nursing positions not cutting back on them.”

 
Lisa Johnson with Public Interest Alberta’s Child Care Task Force echoes those sentiments. Johnson says child care in Medicine Hat is unaffordable as the city needs another 500 to 1000 spaces. She says its frustrating having to listen to the 3 candidates running in the Conservative leadership race. Johnson says the Tories need to consider raising taxes on high income earners after making recent cuts to child care funding.

 

 

Public Interest Alberta co-hosted a public forum Tuesday with the Parkland Institute at Medicine Hat College. The forum is the second of a 6 city provincial speaking tour that organizers hope to get people around Alberta to advocate for progressive income taxes and fair corporate taxes.