Now this hasn’t been officially rolled out, but I think this is the kind of approach we need to show Canadians we have a serious plan to combat global warming:
The plan, according to sources, would shift the 10-cent federal excise tax on a litre of fuel at the pumps into a broad-based carbon tax that would also apply to other fuels, such as for home heating. Sources say that the plan would not add more taxes to gasoline.
But the key is that the money raised – estimated as much as $17-billion – would be returned to middle-class and working Canadians in personal income tax cuts, making it revenue neutral. There could be corporate tax cuts as well.
Some people are skeptical, including a “veteran” (probably John Turner years) Liberal strategist that always pops up in a Jane Taber piece (why those anonymous Liberals think they are helping the party with such comments is beyond me), but I think we need to give Canadians a lot more credit than those worried about a policy like this this are doing.
Canadians could understand five simple things:
1) We need to be doing much more to be combating global warming. The Carbon Budget was a start but this builds on that and is even more bold. Conservatives have put our reputation in the dumps (especially at Bali), we should be seen as a leader and not a laggard on this issue.
2) In a time of economic uncertainty, we want a plan widely endorsed by economists. This one is.
3) You won’t be paying more at the pump with this proposal.
4) You won’t be paying more taxes overall with this proposal. It is a tax shift not a tax increase.
5) If you are someone who doesn’t consume much energy you will come out ahead.
The important thing though is that Liberals frame this issue before the Conservatives do.
Though I have faith in Canadians that they would embrace a plan like this and so far I would say that the evidence shows that I am right.
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