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Thursday, May 07, 2009

It's just plain sexy: Christine Elliott would implement a flat tax in Ontario.

Christine Elliott, once the "red tory" of the Ontario PC leadership race, announced this morning that she would implement a flat tax in Ontario if she were elected premier.

This is beyond my expectations for any major party politician. It's almost too good for me to believe that any leadership candidate in the PCs would endorse this. As a friend of mine often says, a flat tax is just plain sexy.

From Elliott's website:

“The tax burden on working families is too high and it’s getting worse. Ontario families pay more in taxes than for food, clothing and shelter combined,” said Elliott. [The Shotgun reported on that tidbit here.]  “By making people pay a higher rate of tax as their income grows, Ontario’s tax system punishes hard work and initiative, and suffocates growth. As a result, it will take longer for us to recover from a recession, and it will be harder to take advantage of growth during times of recovery.”

“Others are proposing to merely tinker with the tax code,” said Elliott, “but now is the time to transform the tax system. Extraordinary times call for bold action.”

Elliott will phase in lower taxes for all Ontarians and collapse the three current brackets into one rate of tax. This means:

  •  The Basic Personal Amount will increase from the current $8,881 to approximately $18,000 to provide tax cuts for all Ontarians and take low-income taxpayers completely off the tax roll.
  •  The current three tax brackets will be collapsed into one single bracket of eight per cent.

“The most important feature of a flat tax is the positive impact on productivity, employment, income, living standard, and the economy in general,” said Elliott. “This has been achieved wherever flat taxes have been introduced.”

A flattened tax structure has been successfully implemented in both Alberta and New Brunswick and has been promoted by the Fraser Institute and the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.


Elliott’s plan specifically ensures that lower income earners will pay less by increasing the Basic Personal Amount. The proposal removes many low-income taxpayers from the tax roll without punishing high-income earners and the economy with high tax rates.

“My tax plan is competitive, fair and encourages economic growth,” said Elliott. “It is simply better.”

This is absolutely outstanding. Did I mention that already? Just in case you missed it: outstanding.

Posted by Janet Neilson on May 7, 2009 | Permalink


At first I was trying to think if I should support Elliott or Hudak as my #2 after Hillier. Now I think I may need to consider if Elliott or Hillier will be my #1 choice. If these are "red tory" policies, then you can paint me red.

Posted by: William Joseph | 2009-05-07 9:16:17 AM

This is a surprisingly bold and welcome policy from Christine Elliott.

It would be good if the other candidates stole this idea. That way, no matter who wins, a flat tax will at least be on the table come election time in Ontario.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2009-05-07 9:36:22 AM

Good god. "Outstanding" is exactly right. I think I may have just made up my mind on who my #2 is.

Posted by: Alex Sloat | 2009-05-07 9:37:41 AM

The Conservatives are low in the polls both federally and provincially in Ontario so it does not surprise me to see some attention grabbing proposals. I don't think any of this will fly because it will just add more debt and kill us over the long term.

Posted by: Bob Peloquin | 2009-05-07 11:35:45 AM

Bravo Christine Elliott. You have 4 votes from my family. We will renew our memberships today

Posted by: was a hudak supporter | 2009-05-07 12:12:02 PM

Actually Bob, pregressive tax systems are what kill us over the long term.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-05-07 12:12:26 PM

This is a brave and commendable policy, but today I received an e-mail from Hugh Segal endorsing Elliott. Support from such a pompous, self-important virtually pink Tory scares me. Segal would never support someone that was genuinely conservative.

Posted by: Mike | 2009-05-13 1:11:28 PM

Not only is Christine Elliott's move for a flat tax a bold one, but also a very needed one. Our Ontario economic growth is in a shamble and a flat tax proposal that Christine encourages will result in a fair and competitive move. If Alberta and New Brunswick can make it work succesfully, why can't Ontario. You have our household votes to lead Ontario Christine

Posted by: Luke | 2009-05-14 8:16:36 AM

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