(Quebec) Quebecers will very soon return to the austerity of the liberal years if nothing else is done, believes Quebec solidaire (QS).
The party gathered around 200 of its members this weekend in a virtual national council with the theme “Who will pay for the crisis?” “.
In a press briefing on Saturday, QS co-spokesperson Manon Massé said cuts to public services are inevitable, if we are to rely on the economic update.
Last week, the Minister of Finance, Eric Girard, confirmed that the deficit would reach 15 billion this year, a historic high.
An anticipated deficit of 8.3 billion will follow in 2021-2022, then 7 billion the following year. From 2020 to 2023, that gives a total of 30 billion written in red ink in the Quebec budget.
The government has pledged not to increase taxes, despite the difficult context caused by the pandemic. The mini-budget does not include any increase in the tax burden on Quebeckers.
“They prefer to count on the federal government, to hope for the return of strong economic growth; honestly, these two factors are more or less reassuring ”, declared Mme Mass.
“When we refuse to increase the income column, quite inevitably, it is the expenditure column that we must compress. It already heralds austerity.
“This new prospect of austerity is really ‘tough’ for Quebeckers,” she added, saying she wanted to discuss “alternatives” this weekend to avoid the “announced sacrifice of the CAQ”.
On Saturday, QS members adopted an “emergency proposal” to respond to the Legault government’s economic update.
The party wants to help large corporations, web giants, major polluters and the wealthiest taxpayers, by establishing:
– a pandemic tax
– a tax on large fortunes
– new eco-tax measures aimed at the most polluting companies
QS is therefore bringing back, in part, a proposal from last spring, the objective of which is to tax large companies which saw their profits grow during the crisis (Dollarama, Walmart, Metro, etc.).
“If you took advantage of the crisis, while all the citizens were making sacrifices […], you have a responsibility to do your fair share, ”insisted QS co-spokesperson Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois.
The tax on large fortunes would affect wealth, not income, he explained. “It’s not about taxing the wealth of middle-class people who have small single-family homes.
” It’s about […] a drain on the fortunes of people who are among the richest in our society, […] a proposal that has been made […] by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren ”in the United States, he said.
In terms of ecofiscal measures, Mr. Nadeau-Dubois assured that he did not want a “wall-to-wall” carbon tax. He said he advocated instead a taxation “targeted” on the big industrial polluters.
The left-wing party promises to return to these three measures on Sunday, with a detailed and quantified announcement.
The member for Rouyn-Noranda – Témiscamingue, Émilise Lessard-Therrien, added during the debates that the pandemic tax would allow “a fair return of the pendulum for our small businesses”.
Advocating for such a tax could have the added benefit of attracting “allies who are perhaps less natural” to QS as the 2022 general election approaches, she argued.
Mme Lessard-Therrien also supported the proposal to make the fight against GNL-Quebec a priority, a “national mobilization”.
“This winter, Québec solidaire will once and for all put the last nail in the coffin of the LNG-Québec project,” even launched Manon Massé.
The LNG-Quebec project consists of the construction of a 750 km gas pipeline that would go from Ontario transporting gas from the West to a liquefaction plant in Saguenay, to then transport the liquefied natural gas to Europe. especially.
“The pan gas pipeline […] passes through several regions and makes it possible to make really very concrete mobilizations on the ground, in particular in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Mauricie ”, affirmed Mr.me Lessard-Therrien.
“It can be really beneficial for all our associations”, she concluded.