Pauline Marois grilled over last-minute promise to cut taxes

Marois grilled over last-minute promise to cut taxes

Polls show PQ trailing the Liberals ahead of Monday’s vote


LAVAL, Que. – Parti Quebecois Leader Pauline Marois is defending once again the timing of her announcement that she will introduce tax cuts after Quebec balances its budget.

Marois says she didn’t come out with the promise on Thursday in an attempt to gain ground in the provincial election campaign.

Recent opinion polls have shown the PQ trailing the Liberals with just days left before Monday’s vote.

Marois is acknowledging there was no mention of any possible tax cuts in the budget her government tabled two weeks before the election was called.

But she said today she believes it will be possible to achieve a bigger budgetary surplus than expected because of job-creation policies and economic growth.

Marois made the promise on Thursday, Day 30 of the campaign, at an appearance before the Montreal Board of Trade.

She said the tax cuts would kick in only after the province balances its budget, which the PQ has said will occur in 2015-16.

During a campaign stop in Laval, north of Montreal, reporters grilled Marois about her proposal.

Marois said before the tax reductions will come into effect, the budget first has to be balanced — and maintained — and spending also has to be controlled.

But she could not say when they would be implemented, adding only that they would occur when Quebec’s economic performance is good and there’s a surplus.

While the PQ has promised a balanced budget in 2015-2016, Quebec’s interim auditor general said recently the government was being very optimistic if it thought it could achieve it within a few years.

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