How we got here - Macleans.ca

How we got here

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Mike McNair, a former advisor to Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff, blames Conservative tax policy for the current deficit.

The federal deficit, this year estimated at $26 billion, would already have been wiped out had the Harper Conservatives not taken more than $30 billion per year out of the federal tax base.

The Conservatives used budgets and fiscal updates from 2006-2008 to introduce sweeping personal and corporate tax changes. Federal revenue in 2014-15, the last full year of the Conservative mandate, is estimated to be $285 billion, which means that Conservative actions have reduced the tax base by over 10 per cent since they took office. While many of these tax reductions were small, targeted tax credits (such as the fitness and public-transit tax credits), significant revenue was lost through a handful of much more consequential measures.