Backbencher presses finance minister on income tax break

·1 min read
Cory Deagle continued to press as other MLAs, as well as the premier, cheered him on. (Province of P.E.I. - image credit)
Cory Deagle continued to press as other MLAs, as well as the premier, cheered him on. (Province of P.E.I. - image credit)

P.E.I. Progressive Conservative MLA Cory Deagle is looking for Finance Minister Darlene Compton to provide Islanders with some income tax relief as they deal with the highest inflation in decades.

Inflation for P.E.I. in March was 8.9 per cent, which was the highest in the country. Nationally the rate was 6.7 per cent.

In the legislature Thursday, during question period, Deagle asked Compton if she was considering raising the basic personal tax exemption for Islanders for the 2023 tax season. Compton said the government had raised it to $12,000, and it was not possible at this point to increase it further.

Deagle was not done, and rose to ask a supplementary question.

Province of P.E.I.
Province of P.E.I.

"People are struggling to afford a home, afford gas to put in their cars and to afford food to put on the table. Now, the purchasing power of a dollar has decreased significantly. It doesn't stretch as far as it used to, even last month. Each month, it's worth less," he said.

"Will your department consider tying the basic personal amount to the rate of inflation each year going forward?"

Again, Compton said she couldn't commit to increases.

"The department continues to look at what we can do to make life easier for Islanders," she said.

"It's a tough time right now with where inflation is, but we will continue to do what we can across all government departments to make sure that we are there for Islanders."

Deagle asked further if the minister would index all tax brackets to inflation. Compton said again the Finance Department was looking at that option, and would continue to.

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