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Largest tax cuts in Quebec’s history announced in latest budget

Quebec’s 2023-24 budget has been unveiled and includes one of the largest income tax cuts in the province’s history. Some Quebecers have left positive reactions, while others are cautiously optimistic about what this means.

“Every budget you take, you lose something,” said Renaud Brossard of the Montreal Economic Institute. “But honestly, the fact that we finally have some tax cuts for conductors is very good news.

“Overall it is a good budget. Quebecers ask for help. The government is making real tax cuts. So there are a lot of positives.”

The cuts were one of the promises made by the CAQ government in the fall.

While it’s a big step in the right direction, a nurse CityNews spoke to says the cuts won’t benefit all Quebecers.

“It seems like they’re only helping a specific income recipient and not all Quebecers. You know, as you can see, people who make over $100,000 are going to have better breaks than people who make less than $40,000 a year. And that’s a problem,” said Naveed Hussain, a teacher and nurse at MUHC.

The increase in income tax cuts will be paid for by the government, which will make smaller payments to the Generations Fund, a debt-repayment fund. Deficits of meaning in the province would continue to increase.

“We’re still spending more than we’re taking in, and that’s not going to change in the next five years. At a time when interest rates are rising, borrowing money is costing us a lot more than it used to. Quebec should have tried to reduce the deficit and get back into balance as soon as possible,” explained Brossard.

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However, Hussain says the budget does not take into account the long-term consequences.

“Because of this budget, we’re not paying off the debt in 10 years, but in 15 years. And that will hurt future generations of Quebecers,” he explained.

“It seems like we’re focusing on short-term goals rather than long-term goals. We try to put patches on … health services or social services and education instead of looking to the future.”

The budget includes an increase of nearly $5.6 billion for healthcare, of which just $565 million will go to social services and mental health over the next five years. Something Hussain says should be given more priority.

“I can give you examples where patients with mental health crises are denied beds in institutions and are simply sent back into the community where they receive no treatment and end up committing crimes or harming family and friends. These are things that we really need to look at from the ground up.”

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