Federal budget will include tax hike for wealthy Canadians, sources say

Tuesday’s federal budget will include a tax increase on the richest Canadians, sources tell Radio-Canada.

It’s not clear exactly what form the tax measure will take but senior Liberal sources have told Radio-Canada that it will affect less than 1 per cent of Canadians.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers have been on a countrywide tour in recent weeks to make a series of pre-budget announcements.

Those announcements add up to more than $38 billion in commitments over a number of years. Because $17 billion of those commitments involve loan-based programs, about $21 billion could hit the government’s bottom line directly.

Since much of the spending side of the budget is already public, the focus on tomorrow’s budget likely will turn to how the government intends to pay for the new programs.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has ruled out tax increases on the middle class.

“We remain absolutely committed to being there for hardworking middle-class Canadians, and then we won’t raise taxes on them,” she said last week.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a speaker during a news conference for a housing announcement in Vancouver, B.C. on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (Ethan Cairns/The Canadian Press)

The Trudeau government has made tax changes that target wealthier Canadians in the past. 

In last year’s federal budget, the Liberals introduced significant changes to the alternative minimum tax rate. Those changes affected Canadians who earn more than $300,000 per year.

The House of Commons finance committee has recommended the federal government implement a windfall tax on companies in all sectors that generate “oversized” profits during crises, as well as grocery giants, to fund another doubling of the GST rebate.

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