Mr. Speaker, yesterday we learned that the federal government has overtaxed Canadians in the last fiscal year to the tune of $7 billion. At the same time, the Canadian working poor have been struggling to make ends meet while paying their taxes.
The government has the opportunity to take the bold but important step to help low income Canadians by raising the basic personal exemption to $15,000. Doing so would take 2.1 million low income Canadians, the Canadians who can least afford to foot the bill for the massive federal surplus, off the tax rolls altogether.
It is just plain wrong for the government to boast of massive surpluses while overtaxing these low income Canadians. A progressive tax system should recognize that somebody making less than $15,000 per year should not be paying taxes.
The government should increase the basic personal exemption to help these struggling Canadians by giving Canadians a fairer tax system.