FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2017

Ottawa, Ontario—Conservative Shadow Finance Minister, Pierre Poilievre, today condemned Justin Trudeau’s new tax on employee discounts, a plan uncovered by Globe and Mail reporter, Campbell Clark, who published an email he received from a CRA official confirming the new rule.

Under the new rules, local business owners will now need to track each time a waitress gets a discount on food or a shoe salesman gets 10% off on footwear, so the government can tax these workers on “the fair market value of the merchandise purchased, less the amount paid by the employee,” according to the Canada Revenue Agency’s “folio”.

“When the Liberals said they would go after ‘wealthy tax cheats’ this is what they meant: hard-working waitresses having a pizza at midnight after an eight hour shift or a fitness trainer who gets a gym membership with his job,” said Poilievre. “Now local business owners will need to track all of these discounts so the government can charge higher taxes to low-income wage earners.”

While the Retail Council warned the Finance Committee about the change in September, most MPs believed it had to be a mistaken interpretation, until today.

“This latest Liberal tax increase will target those who can least afford to pay more. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ‘family fortune’, as he likes to call it, will be untouched once again.”

“If the government wants to tax the difference between the ‘fair market value of the merchandise purchased’ and the price paid, then perhaps that rule should apply to the Prime Minister. Justin Trudeau and his family enjoyed thousands of dollars of vacation benefits paid by wealthy friends and he should pay tax on that price discount.”

“The Liberals cannot simply blame this decision on the CRA. The Prime Minister has set the tone. By attacking our local businesses and family farmers, and calling them tax cheats, he has unleashed the tax collectors to hound all hardworking Canadians for more money.”

“There is an alternative, Prime Minister: get government spending under control, so you will no longer need to pick the pockets of working people,” concluded Poilievre, who pledged to continue the fight against this and other tax increases on the floor of the House of Commons.

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