High income earners like Murray Edwards fleeing the province is more evidence the NDP government’s economic agenda is hurting Alberta’s long-term competitive advantage, the Wildrose Official Opposition said today.
Canadian Natural Resources recently listed Edwards’ new official residence as being in London U.K. rather than Calgary. Edwards’ net worth is pegged at $1.48 billion by Forbes magazine, and his annual income is in the tens of millions.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said this type of business and personal tax migration, whether it’s because of uncompetitive corporate, business or carbon taxes, hurts revenues and means slower growth for the economy.
“When high income earners decide to walk away from Alberta, that means less revenue potential to build schools and hospitals or hire teachers and nurses. It’s obvious that 15 per cent of nothing is a lot less than 10 per cent of millions. The NDP's static analysis of tax policy is going to hurt Alberta's fiscal situation,” Jean said. “The fact is, our government can’t expect to tax their way out of a recession. This is just the latest example of NDP policies damaging growth and Alberta’s ability to recover from this economic downturn.”
Wildrose was the only party in the last election to fight against any tax increases for individuals or businesses. With recent federal tax increases on top of the Notley NDP’s hikes, Alberta’s top marginal tax rate is now among the highest in the western world instead of competing with the lowest.
“Only the parties that campaigned on big tax hikes are surprised that higher taxes will drive some high income earners to pay their taxes in more competitive jurisdictions,” Wildrose Shadow Finance Minister Derek Fildebrandt said. “Raising taxes on the wealthy might make for good campaign rhetoric, but it makes for poor economics and often ends up collecting less revenue in the long run. We need to rebuild the Alberta Advantage and that starts with cutting taxes that will spur economic growth and keeping people and businesses paying their taxes in Alberta.”