An Ontario NDP government would boost the minimum wage to $12 an hour but cut the corporate tax rate for small businesses, leader Andrea Horwath says.
Horwath’s orange campaign bus pulled up at the Paintbox Bistro in the Regent Park community of Toronto Thursday where she argued that small businesses are looking for certainty in the minimum wage, not a lower rate.
“Minimum wage jobs used to be a starting point, an entry into the workforce,” Horwath said. “Today more and more people are relying on minimum wage jobs to pay for bills and to support their families.”
The competing interests of small business owners and employees can be balanced with a cut in the small business tax rate to 3% from 4.5%.
Only companies with less than $500,000 in annual taxable income would qualify for the tax break.
The NDP would lower the rate by 0.5% a year for three years, at a cost to the provincial treasury of $90 million for each half point decline in the rate.
Horwath said she’s confident a government could cover the loss of revenue by finding efficiencies.
“I know that Ontarians believe there is waste to be found. And look, we’re talking about $120 billion budget. I don’t for a minute believe that you can’t find half a percent, 0.5%, in savings by doing things differently, by respecting the tax dollar, by squeezing out the waste and consolidating where there’s overlap,” Horwath said.