Close×

Commission d'examen sur la fiscalité québécoise - Brief fromOption consommateurs

The mandate of the Commission d'examen sur la fiscalité québécoise (hereinafter referred to as the Commission), determined by government decree, was defined by the following proposals:

  • "examine all tax measures in terms of their relevance and effectiveness, with the aim of identifying measures to reduce overall tax expenditure in order to meet the targets set in the budget.
    to meet the targets set in the 2014-2015 budget;
  • "To conduct a review of Quebec's tax system in order to increase its efficiency, fairness and competitiveness, while ensuring the financing of public services;
  • We're also looking to "benchmark" global tax trends, particularly in relation to our geographic neighbors such as the U.S. and other Canadian provinces;
  • "Examine the possibility of reviewing the balance between the different modes of taxation.
    to better support economic growth;
  • "analyze the personal tax system to encourage work and savings and optimize the pricing of services, while ensuring a fair redistribution of collective wealth by maintaining adequate support for the most disadvantaged;
  • "evaluate the possibility of taxing certain tariffs to take into account the ability to pay of users of public services, while taking into account the impacts on implicit marginal tax rates."

Our organization has taken note of all the commission's objectives. We would like to comment specifically on the following objectives, as formulated by the commission
by the commission:

  1. Promoting economic growth and rising living standards
  2. Encouraging personal savings
  3. A commitment to sustainable development
  4. Ensuring the equitable redistribution of collective wealth and adequate support for the most disadvantaged

It should be noted that the absence of comments on certain elements of the commission's final report should not be interpreted as tacit assent, nor as an expression of disagreement.
expression of disagreement.

Option consommateurs noted that the commission is proposing a reform "at zero cost for taxpayers, i.e. for individuals and companies, with each group being considered separately".
separately". The reform "is not intended to alter the combined weight of taxation and pricing in the economy. As such, the proposed changes must be self-financing,
without increasing or decreasing the overall tax burden. In this regard, Option consommateurs remains concerned by criticisms of the commission's use of the Ministère des Finances du Québec's general equilibrium model (MEGFQ) in its analysis of the impact of its tax proposals on the evolution of the Quebec economy. The commission's report notes the positive effects that the proposed tax transition would have on the Quebec economy. The lack of unanimity on the effects of the proposed tax transition only increases our skepticism about the relevance of the commission's vision and resulting proposals.

The commission states that "according to the Department of Finance's assessment, the reform proposed by the commission would increase GDP by $2 billion and disposable personal income by almost
personal disposable income by nearly $600 million. In addition, the reform "would support the creation of 20,505 jobs over time".

The financing of public services seems to be based solely on economic growth and Quebecers' standard of living, which would be stimulated by the proposed reform. Our organization asks the following questions: if the expected results turn out to be lower than anticipated, will balancing the budget come at the expense of public services? Will citizens then face yet another increase in utility rates and taxes? Faced with a government determined to stay the course towards a balanced budget, our
our organization is concerned about what will happen to public services, especially as the 2% economic growth forecast by the government does not seem to be forthcoming.