POLITICS

Prentice defends no corporate tax increases as key to protecting jobs

04/09/2015 01:43 EDT | Updated 06/09/2015 05:59 EDT
INNISFAIL, Alta. - Premier Jim Prentice says increasing corporate taxes in Alberta would kill jobs.

While campaigning in central Alberta Prentice stressed the importance of keeping the province's tax environment competitive at a time of financial stress caused by plunging oil prices.

His government is being criticized for its recent budget that hit Albertans with tax and fee hikes, but spared corporations.

Prentice says a one per cent increase in corporate taxes would result in the loss of 9,000 jobs.

He says such a tax increase would hit small businesses hard — many of which employ fewer than 50 people.

Prentice says plans by the other parties to increase corporate taxes and spending are unrealistic.

"With families already facing layoffs in the energy sector, a job-killing increase in taxes on business is just plain wrong," Prentice said Thursday.

"Others think we can just cut to make up for the loss of oil revenue. And make no mistake, front line jobs - teachers, doctors, nurses - would be on the cutting line, along with investments in key infrastructure projects, which also deliver jobs."

Prentice said he is confident Albertans will give his government a new mandate, but he isn't taking anything for granted when it comes to support.

"This province is at a turning point and Albertans are being asked to choose," he said. "We've put forward a very realistic plan."

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