POLITICS

Tom Mulcair Says 2015 Federal Budget Helps 'Wealthiest Few'

04/22/2015 10:49 EDT | Updated 06/22/2015 05:59 EDT

The federal budget benefits "the wealthy few," prioritizing income-splitting and nearly doubling contributions to tax-free savings accounts, NDP leader Tom Mulcair said after meeting with his caucus Wednesday morning in advance of the start of the budget debate in the House of Commons.

"(Stephen Harper) is going to take from the poor and give to the rich. He's sort of a reverse Robin Hood. That's been his theme for a while," Mulcair said.

Mulcair argued income-splitting for two-parent families is most beneficial to the richest 15 per cent of Canadians.

He also criticized the government for nearly doubling the amount that Canadians can contribute to tax-free savings accounts each year from $5,500 to $10,000, effective immediately.

"That's great if you've got 50,000 bucks in your back pocket. The same way that income-splitting is great if you're having trouble making payments on your second BMW. But it does nothing for the middle class that is actually earning less today than it was 30 years ago," Mulcair said.

Mulcair said he did agree with the government's plan to cut the tax rate for small businesses earning less than half a million dollars from 11 per cent to nine per cent by 2019 — but emphasized that the NDP brought the same idea up earlier this year.

"We agree so much with it that we actually made that as a proposal in the House of Commons two months ago and Mr. Harper voted against it," he said.

He also said it's worth noting, as Wednesday is Earth Day, that there was not a single mention of climate change in the budget.

Mulcair said a NDP government would create child care spaces and make a $15 federal minimum wage a reality.

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