PQ plans to tax rich to pay for health care

Quebec's Premier Pauline Marois speaks after being sworn-in at the National Assembly in Quebec...

Quebec's Premier Pauline Marois speaks after being sworn-in at the National Assembly in Quebec City, Sept. 19, 2012. REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger

Judith Plamondon, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:51 PM ET

MONTREAL - The Parti Quebecois government said it will tax businesses and the rich in order to cover money lost due to an expensive campaign pledge.

After promising to cut the $200 yearly, Liberal-imposed health care tax, the PQ government said businesses and the rich will cover the $845 million shortfall.

Shirley Bishop, spokeswoman for the Premier`s office, told QMI Agency Saturday that the government plans to create two personal income tax brackets to pay for the cuts, one for those making over $130,000 and the second for incomes higher than $250,000. Businesses will also be taxed higher to help pay for health care.

The PQ wants personal and commercial incomes made since last January to be taxable. However, Bishop said the tax shouldn't be considered "retroactive" since it will only apply when Quebecers file their taxes in 2013.

Bishop said the government hasn't decided how much the new tax will be, nor how it will impose it. The PQ could raise taxes by ministerial decree or bring its plan to a vote at the legislature.

However, the minority government must get the support of opposition parties, which could be difficult.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ), Quebec's third party, also promised to abolish the health care tax but told QMI Agency Saturday that it was against imposing new taxes.

"Quebecers are overtaxed," said CAQ spokesman Christian Dube. "We have already stated that we are against the creation of (new taxes)."


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