05 September 2011

The Politics of Cynicism: even worse than thought edition #nlpoli

If they accidentally accumulate enough credits to a form a government after the next election, the provincial New Democrats will keep taxing small business income at 14%.

What the provincial party announced last week was a very small reduction in the rate that applies only on the first $500,000 of business income.

So what was dishonestly torqued as a 25% reduction (a one percentage point reduction from four percent to three percent)  solely to make the policy appear to be much more significant that it was is actually even worse for what the release did not include.

Just to add to the crass manipulation the New Democrats engaged in last week, consider New Democrat candidate Gerry Rogers’ words at  the news conference announcing the NDP’s small business policy. 

Here’s the version from the Telegram:

“Absolutely, it’s important for the NDP to be seen as pro-business,” Rogers said.

“I think the NDP is clearly pro-business, pro-development, but only in as much as it’s good for all the people of the country.”

Yes, important “to be seen as”.

But not as important to actually be, it seems.

People wonder how the New Democrats would pay for the cut.  truth is they wouldn’t have to.  If the local economy grows at the optimistic rates forecast by some people – and business income grows along with it -  small business will fork over as much or more when they pay 14% on amounts over $500,000.

So what would a real small business policy look like?

Well, if tax cuts are your thing, you could increase the amount of income covered by the lowest rate.  Apply the four percent rate to the first $750,000 or even first million of small business income.

That would be a real tax cut, not the charade the Dippers offered last week.

Reduce red tape.  Don’t just engage in the charade the Tories did over the past seven years.  Seriously reduce the weight of unnecessary regulation.  The fishery is probably one of the finest examples of an industry almost breaking down under the weight of completely useless paperwork and restrictions.

The current system reduces thousands of people in the province to little better than wage slavery and perpetual dependence on government hand-outs to make a very meagre living.  Your humble e-scribbler highlighted that idea, among others,  a few months ago:

The third idea is for the provincial government to abolish processing licenses with the elaborate red tape restrictions that go with it.  The current system helps to keep too many people and too many plants working in an industry featuring low wages, limited capital for investment and with no prospect that new workers will enter the industry to keep it going.

The Dippers couldn’t do that, of course, since it would seriously shag up the fisheries union on which the NDP depends for so much support.  Since the provincial NDP is basically the political arm of the province’s unions, with a few other people along for the ride, there’s no way they could make a meaningful change to help everyday  people every day, whether they are workers or small business owners.

But the NDP will issue news releases that make it seem like they would to something.

Because, after all, it is important for politicians to be seen to be [insert the phony value of the moment here].

- srbp -