The federal NDP is pledging $ 214 billion in new spending over the next five years, according to a cost breakdown of its platform commitments released on Saturday.
Much of this spending would be offset by $ 166 billion in revenue generated over the same period through a series of new taxes and other measures targeting high net worth individuals and large profitable businesses.
“I am proud to say that we are the only party that has a plan that will ensure that we are not going to impose an additional burden on working people, the middle class and small businesses,” said NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh. reporters during their campaign in Vancouver.
“Our plan is the only one with a credible vision for [increase] significant and substantial income so that we can invest in the programs people need, the help people need, while putting us in a better position to reduce our debt. “
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The calculation, which is in part based on projections by the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO), estimates how much the promises of the NDP platform would cost over the next five years, and how much revenue the new tax measures would bring in them. federal coffers.
It attaches specific dollar projections to the political commitments contained in the NDP platform, which the party released earlier this summer, but which has been criticized as being long in ambition and lacking in detail.
The PBO in his reports acknowledged the uncertainty regarding the revenue figures.
Singh conceded some uncertainty about the plan, saying it “had never been done before”, but argued it was a “real way forward” that “Canadians believe logic”.
WATCH | Singh stressed the uncertainty surrounding the cost of the NPD’s platform:
No immediate plan to regain balance
The costed platform forecasts $ 40 billion in additional spending for 2021-2022. He projects a large deficit of $ 145 billion in 2021-2022, which would shrink to $ 53 billion next year before gradually declining to $ 34 billion in 2025-2026.
There is no immediate plan to return to a balanced budget, but party officials point to the decline in the debt-to-GDP ratio – which would drop from 48% in 2021-2022 to 45.8% by 2025- 2026 – as an indication that the party has a clear path to balance.
According to party officials speaking on the merits, the NDP’s promises go beyond what was contained in the 2021-2022 budget proposed by the Liberal government and passed by Parliament earlier this year. Despite this, the party projects lower annual deficits in most years compared to liberal and conservative platforms, in part because of an abundance of revenue-generating proposals.
Unlike the Conservative Party’s platform, which proposes to reverse the Liberals’ onerous promise to spend $ 30 billion to establish a national child care program, the NDP intends to honor existing agreements that the Liberals signed with several provinces and complete the construction of a national system.
The NDP’s costliest budget item is $ 68 billion in new health spending over the next five years, which would fund universal prescription drug coverage, expand long-term care and home care options, and would cover dental and mental health care. expenses for many Canadians at the bottom of the income scale.
The party says this would bring its platform closer to the demand of the provincial and territorial premiers to see the federal government cover 35% of all health care costs, which would be equivalent to increasing the Canada Health Transfer (CHT ) of $ 28 billion. per year. (The Conservative platform would pump $ 60 billion into health care over the next 10 years without any strings attached, although most of that money would come in the second half of the decade. The Liberals would create a dedicated transfer to mental health and would say they are willing to negotiate increases TCS).
The NDP is also proposing to spend $ 26 billion to fight climate change and support workers who may need to pull out of heavily polluting industries like oil and gas.
In addition, the party would redirect $ 35 billion already budgeted for projects with the Canadian Infrastructure Bank to a “climate bank”, which would have a mandate to stimulate investments in renewable energies, energy efficiency and low carbon technologies.
An additional $ 30 billion would be spent on reconciliation efforts with Indigenous peoples. More than half of that amount would be invested to get the federal government to comply with a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling by compensating First Nations families and children who have been taken from their homes and placed in the system. child protection.
The publication of the NDP’s platform costs comes on the second day of advance polls, with nine days left in the campaign before polling day.
When asked if voters would have been given more time to review the party’s numbers, Singh replied that Canadians will not be surprised by what they see.
“We have been very consistent in our willingness to invest in people,” Singh said. “We’ve been saying for a long time that we think we need to uplift people. We have been doing it throughout the pandemic. We have proposed it before the election.”
New sources of income
Below are the revenue-boosting measures and the amounts the party expects each to bring in:
$ 60 billion through an annual tax of 1% on households with assets greater than $ 10 million.
$ 44 billion by increasing the capital gains inclusion rate from 50% to 75%.
$ 25 billion by increasing the corporate tax rate from 15% to 18%. This would only apply to companies that make more than $ 500,000 in profit.
$ 14 billion via a “surplus profit tax” on companies that made large profits during the COVID-19 pandemic. This would only apply to some companies that make profits over $ 10 million per year.
$ 12 billion by fighting against tax havens. The Canada Revenue Agency would receive $ 100 million in additional funds to increase its ability to find such funds.
All of the above revenue items have been assessed by the PBO, according to party officials.