I read with interest the letters to the editor, “Taxes are just the price of society and civic living” by Elizabeth Marsland (The NEWS, Feb. 9) and “Happy for taxes” by David Sheppard (Feb. 18).
These individuals, and others of their ilk, just do not seem to get it. When I, and others like me, complain about the taxes we have to pay, we are not saying we think we shouldn’t have to pay taxes. Rather, we are saying that we think we are compelled to pay too much in taxes. How do I know it is too much taxation? Consider the following.
Our federal government has a massive number of employees (the bureaucracy) who work fewer hours per month and are paid from 18 per cent to 37 per cent more than comparable employees in the private sector. A Canadian Federation of Independent Business report in March, 2015 stated: “If government workers were paid at the same rate as their private sector counterparts, Canadian taxpayers would save up to $20 billion a year.” In addition, these people receive in retirement the richest pensions in the country. How does the government afford these excesses? By using revenue from our excessive taxes.
The current collective debts of our three levels of government have grown to such an atrocious level that the annual cost of the interest on this money is about $60 billion and about to grow significantly under our new federal government. How do the governments afford this? Yes, you’re right: the constant flow of cash by way of taxation.
A B.C. example is in order. Consider the fiasco that has been uncovered in the Medical Services Plan. The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has discovered that there is over $400 million in overdue/unpaid premiums. Worse yet, the collection of this money is subcontracted, employing about 100 people and costing $100 million a year. How can our government accept this mismanagement and keep the information under wraps (uncovered by an access to information request)? It’s a case of “why worry — we have the citizens’ taxes to pay these expenses.”
To sit back and accept the level of taxation imposed on us without questioning it is foolish. Until a majority of Canadian citizens insist that our governments eliminate fiscal excesses and implement proper controls on all projects under their responsibility, the expression “we are paying too much in taxes” will continue to be a truism.
Ralph MooreQualicum Beach