For the first time in Canadian history, more than half of the federal government’s revenue in 2014 will come from personal income taxes -- a vivid sign that Canada’s tax burden is slowly shifting away from corporations and onto consumers.

It’s the apparent result of successive Liberal and Conservative governments that have cut corporate taxes far more aggressively than they have cut personal income taxes, while increasing “hidden taxes” that mostly impact low-income and middle-income workers.

The federal corporate tax rate has been nearly cut in half since 2000 -- from 28 per cent at the turn of the century to 15 per cent in 2012. The Harper government boasts that this will give Canadian corporations the lowest tax rate on new investment of any G7 country.

Personal income taxes, on the other hand, have remained at more or less steady levels through this time. The lowest tax bracket, which now applies on incomes below $42,706, has fallen slightly to 15 per cent today from 17 per cent in 2000. The top marginal tax rate has stayed the same, at 29 per cent.

Which is why -- according to an analysis of recent government data by economist Toby Sanger -- Canadians’ personal income taxes will account for more than half of government revenue next year. That’s up from only 30 per cent five decades ago.

Tax rates on top incomes and corporations have been cut, while the use of tax loopholes and tax havens have proliferated,” writes Sanger, who works as senior economist for the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

Sanger notes that taxes in Canada have been shrinking: The federal government's overall take this year will amount to 14 per cent of the economy, the lowest since 1940. But Sanger is concerned about who is paying Canada's lower taxes.

“Despite record profits, corporations provide just 13.6 per cent of the federal government’s revenues in corporate income taxes. That’s a third less than the over 20 per cent share they provided during the ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’ from 1946 to 1970.”

Others argue that even as corporations have enjoyed a far more favourable environment in Canada, consumers are getting hit with all sort of “hidden taxes.”

Former Liberal cabinet minister Ralph Goodale recently wrote in HuffPost that the Harper government has "increased the net tax burden on Canadians in each of their last four budgets," pointing the finger particularly at Employment Insurance premium hikes.

That's also the concern of Gregory Thomas, federal director of the conservative-leaning Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF), who noted in a recent National Post column that the Harper government has hiked the maximum EI contribution to $4,277 this year from $3,412 in 2008.

Everyone earning $47,400 or more pays the maximum amount, in effect making it a partly regressive tax that impacts middle-income earners much more than high-income earners.

With the EI fund taking in $3.3 billion more this year than it paid out in benefits, the CTF argues EI should be replaced with individual savings accounts, which people can draw from if they lose their employment, or save for retirement.

Opposition parties and retail groups also criticized the Harper government for a number of tariff hikes in its most recent budget, affecting the costs of a wide range of imported goods from shampoo to bicycles to pre-cut vegetables.

Retail groups warned the tariff hikes would mean price increases to consumers, while the opposition NDP charged the Tories with “hitting Canadians right in the pocketbook.”

Sanger, in his analysis, says closing tax loopholes that primarily benefit wealthy individuals and corporations should be the priority for the Tories.

He also urges the government to raise taxes on corporations, a move opposed by both the Harper government and the Liberals, who say it would harm the economy.

Growth is such an important part of the answer of improving the fortunes of the Canadian middle class, and we cannot do anything that hurts that,” said Chrystia Freeland, the Liberal candidate in this week's Toronto-Centre byelection, recently told HuffPost.

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  • David Thomson

    CANADA - APRIL 17: David Thomson, chairman of Thomson Reuters Corp., speaks during a news conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, April 17, 2007. <strong>Net worth: $26.1 billion, up 30% (from last year)</strong>

  • Galen Weston Sr.

    W. Galen Weston, Executive Chairman of grocery giant George Weston Ltd., speaks during the company's annual general meeting in Toronto on Thursday, May 9, 2013. <strong>Net worth: $10.4 billion, up 24%</strong>

  • Irving Family

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper, left, chats with New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Arthur Irving, right, chairman of Irving Oil as he visits the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John, N.B. on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. <strong>Net worth: $7.85 billion, down 3%</strong>

  • Rogers Family

    Ted Rogers , founder of Rogers Communications Inc. signing some copies of his new autobiography before delivering an address to the Economic Club of Canada luncheon at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto. <strong>Net worth: $7.6 billion, up 18% </strong>

  • Jim Pattison

    Vancouver businessman Jim Pattison typically plays his cards close to the vest as head of Jim Pattison Group , one of the country's largest privately owned conglomerates. <strong>Net worth: $7.39 billion, up 20%</strong>

  • Saputo Family

    Saputo Inc. Chairman Lino Saputo addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Laval, Que., Tuesday, August 6, 2013. <strong>Net worth: $5.24 billion, up 24%</strong>

  • Estate of Paul Desmarais Sr.

    GESCA Ltee Director Paul Desmarais appears before the Kent Commission inquiry into the news paper industry in Ottawa on April 7, 1981. Paul Desmarais Sr. died at the age of 86. <strong>Net worth: $4.93 billion, up 12%</strong>

  • Jeff Skoll

    LOS ANGELES - SEPTEMBER 20: Jeff Skoll arrives for the Los Angeles Premiere of Paramount Vantage "Waiting For Superman" held at the Paramount Theater on September 20, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. <strong>Net worth: $4.92 billion, up 8%</strong>

  • Richardson Family

    James Richardson & Sons manages financial services through Richardson Financial Group, property management through Richardson Center Limited, and oil and gas exploration through Tundra Oil & Gas Partnership. Richardson Financial Group consists of two operating divisions, Richardson Partners Financial Limited, and Richardson Capital. In 2009, Richardson Partners Financial merged with GMP Private Client to form Richardson GMP, a wealth management and investment services firm. <strong>Net worth: $4.45 billion, up 31%</strong>

  • Carlo Fidani

    Carlo Fidani stands with Prime Minister Stephen Harper (left) and Ontario's Lieutenant Governor David Onley as Diamond Jubilee Medals were awarded to seventeen Canadians for outstanding service to their country, in Toronto, on Saturday January 12, 2013. <strong>Net worth: $4.08 billion, up 13%</strong>


  • 10. Bernard Arnault

    <a href=" partner=huffpo">Net worth: $29 billion DOWN Source: LVMH Citizenship: France</a> - Falls from no. 4 in world to no. 10 due to more information about his ownership stake. - Also a factor: Forbes now values his direct stake in Christian Dior, which in turn has a 41% stake in LVMH and trades at a near 20% discount to the underlying shares; previously we had valued the shares in LVMH. - LVMH shares rose more than 6%; U.S. sales grew at a faster rate than sales in Asia region in the fourth quarter - Arnault denied reports that his request for Belgian citizenship last year was related to the country’s tax policies. - It was announced in October that he will be knighted for his services in the U.K.

  • 9. Liliane Bettencourt

    <a href="">Net worth: $30 billion UP Source: L’Oreal Citizenship: France</a> - Heiress to L’Oreal cosmetics fortune jumps to 9th richest in 2013 from 15th richest last year, thanks to a more than 30% rise in the price of L’Oreal stock. Her net worth is $6 billion higher than a year ago. - Now the world’s richest woman. She last cracked the top 10 in 1999. -Her father founded L’Oreal. Bettencourt and her family own more than 30% of the company. -Bettencourt’s assets were placed under the guardianship of her daughter in 2011 after a three-year legal battle. Bettencourt, widowed and age 90, suffers from dementia. Her grandson, Jean- Victor Meyers, took her spot on the L’Oreal board in February 2012.

  • 8. Li Ka-shing

    <a href="">Net worth: $31 million UP Source: diversified Citizenship: Hong Kong</a> - Once again Asia’s richest person and the only one from the region among the world’s top 20 richest. - His fortune jumped $5.5 billion to $31 billion, as shares of his biggest holdings, Cheung Kong, Hutchison Whampoa and Husky Energy, all rose more than 10%. He also received 2012 dividends of $860 million. - Li's businesses employ 260,000 people around the world in 52 countries. -Li-controlled companies bought British gas supplier Wales & West Utilities for $1 billion in October; his third utilities acquisition in the U.K. in 24 months. He now supplies gas to a quarter of all Brits. - Investor in such tech outfits as Facebook, spotify, and social TV platform Stevie.

  • 6. Charles Koch And David Koch

    <a href=" koch?">Net worth: $34 billion UP Source: diversified Citizenship: U.S.A.</a> - World’s richest siblings added $9 billion apiece to their fortunes over the past year. - They own a combined 84% of Koch Industries, country’s second largest private company with $115 billion in estimated sales, up 15% in the past year. - Also got boost from improving operations at Georgia Pacific, maker of Angel Soft and Quilted Northern toilet paper, Brawny paper towels, and Dixie cups. Sold more than $1 billion worth of toilet paper in 2011. - David, who runs the chemical technology side of Koch Industries, is the richest New Yorker. - Things didn’t go so well on the political front as brothers failed in their quest to unseat Barack Obama from the White House ("Bitterly disappointing," he told Forbes in an interview after the election).

  • 5. Larry Ellison

    <a href="">Net worth: $43 billion UP Source: Oracle Citizenship: U.S.A.</a> -Software mogul is $7 billion richer than a year ago, thanks to more than 20% jump in the value of Oracle stock. - In June he bought 98% of Hawaiian island of Lanai from billionaire David Murdock for a reported $500 million. -Just recently bought Island Air, a Hawaiian airline. Purchase price was not disclosed. -Continues to buy property in Malibu. -Gearing up for the America’s Cup yacht races in San Francisco later in 2013. -Supports the Ellison Medical Foundation, which does research on aging and age-related diseases. Gave $45 million worth of Oracle shares to the foundation in April 2012.

  • 4. Warren Buffett

    <a href="">Net worth: $53.5 billion UP Source: Berkshire Hathaway Citzenship: U.S.A.</a> - Year’s second biggest gainer added $9.5 billion to his fortune as Berkshire Hathaway shares rose 26% year over year -First time he’s not among top 3 richest since 2000. - Investors applaud his dealmaking savvy, and this year was no exception as he made a couple of notable moves: in February, announced a deal with Brazilian billionaire Jorge Paulo Lemann's 3G Capital to snap up iconic ketchup producer H.J. Heinz Co. for $23.2 billion; bought Oriental Trading in November 2012. - World’s second most generous person, he gave $1.5 billion to the Gates Foundation in July 2012, bringing his lifetime giving to nearly $17.3 billion. On his birthday in August 2012 Buffett pledged $3 billion of stock to his children's foundations.

  • 3. Amancio Ortega

    <a href="">Net worth: $57 billion UP Source: Zara Citizenship: Spain</a> - Year’s biggest gainer: fortune up $19.5 billion - Moves to number 3, up from number 5 richest last year. Now ahead of Warren Buffett. - Driving the jump is a more than 50% rise in value of Inditex shares; Ortega, who stepped down as the firm’s chairman in 2011, still owns nearly 60% of the shares. - He also has real estate portfolio, estimated to be worth more than $4 billion, that includes iconic Torre Picasso, a 43-story skyscraper in Madrid (Google is a tenant), plus properties in Madrid, London, Chicago, San Francisco and New York.

  • 2. Bill Gates

    <a href="">Net worth: $67 billion UP Source: Microsoft Citizenship: U.S.A</a> -World's biggest philanthropist has given away $28 billion, the vast majority of it to his foundation, which is working to eradicate such diseases as polio and malaria. - Net worth is up by $6 billion vs. March 2012 due to gains in his investment portfolio. Holdings include tech hygiene firm Ecolab and Mexican Coke bottler FEMSA, both up more than 20% in the past year. -Microsoft stock --he owns about 5% of the company -- accounts for just 18% of his net worth. -In February the first 12 non-Americans joined Bill Gates’ and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge, in which the ultra-wealthy pledge to give away at least half their net worth to charity. New pledgers include Richard Branson of the U.K. and India’s Azim Premji. -Gates recently said the only thing left on his bucket list was, "Don't die."

  • 1. Carlos Slim Helu & Family

    <a href="">Net Worth: $73 billion UP Source: telecom Citizenship: Mexico</a> - World's richest man for the fourth year in a row. - Net worth up $4 billion versus 2012 but still $1 billion shy of his all-time record; boost came from surging stock prices at his financial arm, Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and at his Grupo Carso industrial and retail giant. - Pan-Latin American mobile telecom outfit America Movil remains his most valuable holding at $36.3 billion; the company spread its wings to Europe in the past year, buying pieces of Dutch telecom company KPN and Telekom Austria - Bought a majority of struggling Spanish soccer team Real Oviedo. - Latin America’s most generous person, his foundation pledged to translate into Spanish 1,000 videos from the Khan Academy education nonprofit website. Slim also hosted Bill Gates in late February; the two men announced they are funding research to improve farmers' yields and reduce hunger.