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Op-ed: The Broten Report is going to put all of us in poverty

by Rural Poverty In Annapolis Valley West

Op-ed: The Broten Report is going to put all of us in poverty

Okay....I have been avoiding this topic but it must be addressed.  If I am going to write about poverty and how it is affecting us in the rural area of Nova Scotia - particularly in Premier McNeil's rural riding - then I have to write about The Broten Report.

The Broten Report is available online HERE.  It is a review of Nova Scotia's taxation system written by a former Liberal member of the Ontario Legislative Assembly, Laurel Broten.  She was paid $150,000 of our tax monies to write this report.

When the Broten Report was released, many people slammed it - and rightfully so.  Our Premier said that he hadn't had a chance to read the report when it was released and therefore could not comment on it.  I call him out on that one.  The Premier would have gotten an advance copy of this report and would fully understand what was in it.  The Premier has not said whether he will put the recommendations of the Broten report in place....but he hasn't said he would not put the recommendations in place either.  This makes me think he is going to put these recommendations in place quietly.

I remind the reader that I like Stephen as a person, as a neighbour....but I think he is too nice for the job and listens to some pretty sour advisers who do not have his best interests or the best interests of the province at heart.

The Broten Report recommends that we lower the income tax rate on the richest people in the province in an attempt to get more of them to move here and do business.

Broten also recommends that, to make up for the shortfall in taxes that she takes off the rich people, the province should put taxes on more consumers goods such diapers for babies.  In other words, the poor and working class and middle class should pay more taxes; the rich should pay less in taxes.

This is called "Trickle Down Economics" and was used by both Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of England and President Ronald Reagan of the United States.  Both used this theory in the 1980's...with disastrous results.

In theory, the Trickle Down Economic model is supposed to work like this:  the rich spend a lot of money on consumer goods, open new businesses, and create new jobs with their corporations, businesses and purchases of consumer goods.  We, the working class, benefit by working these jobs that their corporations and businesses need and providing the rich with what they need, whether it be selling them stuff in stores, driving them around in limousines or cleaning their toilets as maids.

In reality, the rich got the tax breaks, got richer and spent their wealth in other countries....such as China and Mexico.  In China, the labour is extremely cheap bordering on slavery.  In Mexico, $300 a month (Canadian) is considered a very good wage. 

So the rich got tax breaks that only made them richer and 95% of the money does not trickle down to anyone who is not already rich.  As a result, the gap between the rich and the rest of us has become even greater. To this day, many economists blame the Trickle Down Economic Theory for the 2008 crash which has resulted in so many working people losing their houses, their jobs, their money. 

And this 30-year-old economic theory that has been proven to fail on so many levels is the taxation theory that Laurel Broten has recommended to our provincial government for $150,000 of our money. And our provincial government is quietly putting this economic taxation system in place. How do I know they are doing this?  Because Laurel Broten was appointed the head of Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) Global News; Laurel Broten.  That was obviously a reward for her work on a tax review that is going to finish off Nova Scotia financially.

It will make 95% of Nova Scotians worse off and put more of us in poverty.

Think about it.  Get angry. And move on over in the Poverty Trenches.....because there are going to be more of us in here.  

Re-posted (with permission) from the excellent blog Rural Poverty in Annnapolis West. Follow its author on Twitter @RuralPovertyNS

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