Tax fairness is a gender issue | National Union of Public and General Employees

Tax fairness is a gender issue

“For Canada to be a real leader in gender budgeting, the revenue side of the budget cannot be ignored.” — Diana Gibson, Communications Director for Canadians for Tax Fairness

Ottawa  (15 March 2018) — Canadians for Tax Fairness is calling on the federal governmen tto take action on tax and gender bias.

Canadians for Tax Fairness reports 2 problems with gender bias in the tax system: 1.income tax breaks that benefit the wealthy, disproportionately benefit men, and 2. the loss of revenue from tax breaks means less funding for programs that help people with low incomes, who are more likely to be women.

Tax loopholes used almost exclusively by the very wealthy

Tax loopholes are used almost exclusively by top income earners, businesses and CEOs to maximize their bottom line and pay as little tax as possible. These include the Capital Gains Deduction, Employee Stock Options Deduction, the Meals and Entertainment Deduction and the Dividend Gross-up Credit. Top income earners also use private corporations for the same purpose.

“These are not gender neutral,” said Diana Gibson, Communications Director for Canadians for Tax Fairness, “Women only accounted for 22 per cent  of the top 1 per cent of income earners, 3 out of 100 top CEOs in Canada, 15.7 per cent of majority owned smal- and medium-sized businesses.”

Revenues lost to tax cuts needed for programs like child care

The government says it wants to increase the labour force participation rate of women but it has so far only committed token amounts to child care — the single most important way to boost women in the work force. The government needs the revenues to deliver programs like child care, elder care, pharmacare and pensions that are desperately needed by low income women in Canada.

As reported in the Globe and Mail,“the IMF has said Canada should be spending $8 billion a year on child care,” adds Gibson. “We currently don't even spend a tenth of that amount.”

Budget failed to close loopholes for the wealthy

The government left billions in revenues on the table in the last budget by

  • failing to properly close unfair tax loopholes ($12 billion);
  • failing to tax the digital giants ($1 billion)
  • failing to close the door to corporate use of tax havens ($ 10 billion— 15 billion).

Canada now ranks 25th out of 35 OECD countries when it comes to the ratio of tax revenue to GDP.

“For Canada to be a real leader in gender budgeting, the revenue side of the budget cannot be ignored. That is where the rubber really meets the road on what the government can and can't do for gender equality," says Gibson.


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE

 

Issues and Campaigns: