(Quebec) Finance Minister Eric Girard will table the first budget for his second term on Tuesday. This should include the tax cuts promised by the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) during the election campaign.
The party has promised to reduce the first two tax brackets by one percentage point, starting in 2023.
He calculated that after this tax cut, a Quebecer earning $50,000 would pay about $330 less in taxes per year, while a Quebecer earning $100,000 would pay about $810 less per year.
According to the CAQ plan, the tax cut would then be 0.25% per year until 2032, to reach 2.5%. It would be financed from the payments provided for in the Generations Fund.
Tuesday morning, Prime Minister François Legault stressed that there will be “ no surprise ” in the budget presented in the afternoon, since his Minister of Finance has “ monitored the electoral campaign ”.
“ This is a budget where, as promised, we will put money back in the pockets of Quebecers, including in the pockets of middle-class Quebecers,” he said.
He added that his government will continue to invest more in services, particularly in education and health, as well as in the fight against climate change.
The CAQ’s election promise to lower taxes has since been criticized by several groups, who fear in particular that the measure will only benefit the wealthiest. The business community is divided on the issue, among other things.
For some associations, it is high time to reduce the tax burden in Quebec, while others would prefer that we focus on cleaning up public finances before giving up revenue.
In a press scrum in Quebec City on Monday afternoon, Minister Girard carefully avoided confirming whether the budget will include tax cuts.
“ It is (Tuesday) that we will confirm all the measures, but what you call a promise, I would call it more of a commitment ” let the minister hover.
“If there is a time when a fiscal stimulus would be justified, it is when the economy is slowing down”, added Mr. Girard, however.
In addition, the Minister of Finance indicated that the forecasts in his budget will be “ in the same order of magnitude ” as those contained in the economic update presented last December.
“We had a forecast that was very conservative,” said Mr. Girard. I’ve always said it: it is undeniable that the economy is slowing down in 2023 and Quebec is well positioned to face adversity.
“We have tools, capabilities, and we’re going to deal with that. I think the budget tomorrow will help,” he added.