NDP leader Tom Mulcair unveiled another election platform plank Friday: a commitment to reducing child poverty in Canada by closing tax loopholes for high earners and redirecting that money to low-income families.
Mulcair made the announcement to delegates at the left-leaning Broadbent Institute’s second annual Progress Summit in Ottawa.
In his address, Mulcair reminded delegates of former NDP leader Ed Broadbent’s 1989 motion in the House of Commons to end child poverty in Canada by 2000. The motion was adopted by all political parties, but he said subsequent governments failed to get the job done.
“It wasn’t a lack of tools, it wasn’t a lack of resources,” Mulcair said. “It was a lack of political will.”
The party leader doubled down on NDP commitments to help struggling middle-class families. He said that Canadians are working hard but falling further behind, and that wealth in the country is ending up in fewer and fewer hands.
The NDP plan to tackle this problem, he continued, would redirect funds from a “tax loophole currently enjoyed by CEOs on stock options” to low-income families through an enhanced Working Income Tax Benefit and an enhanced National Child Benefit Supplement.
“This will be a dollar-for-dollar transfer in benefits from those who need it the least to those who need it the most,” he said,
He added that the initiative would be a major step forward in taking “millions of Canadians, particularly children, out of poverty and into the middle class.”
Mulcair has been gradually unveiling policies over the past few months, ahead of the upcoming federal election.
So far, the NDP has also promised to lower Old Age Security eligibility from 67 to 65, introduce a federal minimum wage, establish $15-a-day childcare across the country and scrap the Conservative’s income splitting policy.