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Quebec budget surplus: The government collects too much tax

Montreal, November 5, 2019 – While the government is in an enviable fiscal situation and enjoying a budget surplus, it is imperative that it return to taxpayers the excess sums that it has collected, asserts the MEI.

“Quebecers are among the most heavily taxed people in North America. It’s easy to forget that budget surpluses are basically money that has been over-collected from our fellow citizens,” says Vincent Geloso, Associate Researcher at the MEI. “When it lowers taxes, the government is not giving you a gift; it is simply giving you back what it owes you.”

Quebec is currently experiencing a relatively robust period of economic growth, and it should seize this opportunity to stimulate productivity by lowering the income tax rates for corporations and for individuals.

“Budget surpluses are too often used to fund corporate subsidies, whereas the government should instead lower taxes. Entrepreneurs and individuals are far better placed than government to invest and spend their money,” adds Mr. Geloso. “The province of Quebec is one of the biggest spenders when it comes to subsidies of all kinds, and it hasn’t made us richer.”

In sum, if the government currently finds itself in good shape, it’s largely because its predecessor limited the rate of growth of spending. The current government should stay on the same track, rather than repeat the errors of the past.

“Instead of succumbing to the temptation to increase spending, as various interest groups are calling for, the government should favour measures that will have a truly positive impact on our prosperity. This starts with leaving Quebecers’ financial decisions in their own hands,” concludes Mr. Geloso.

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The MEI is an independent public policy think tank. Through its publications and media appearances, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing reforms based on market principles and entrepreneurship.


Interview requests: Daniel Dufort, Director of External Affairs, MEI. Tel.: 514-273-0969 ext. 2224 / Cell: 438-886-9919 / Email: ddufort@iedm.org

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