Justin Trudeau’s new Minister of Middle Class Prosperity still doesn’t know who is in the middle class or what they earn.
During a Wednesday evening finance committee meeting, members of the opposition grilled Minister of Middle Class Prosperity Mona Fortier over a measly new $1.73 a week tax cut.
Fortier was earlier quoted as saying that the $90 a year tax cut would help Canadians send their kids to camp or purchase healthy food.
“We are lowering taxes for middle class families and people working hard to join them, which means more money that can be used to do things like buy healthy food, send kids to camp,” Fortier said earlier this week in the House of Commons.
Both Conservative and NDP committee members criticized the government’s tax cuts which were initially exaggerated. Finance Minister Bill Morneau called the cut a “very significant measure” and suggested that Canadians would save up to $300 a year.
“It’s about $1.70 a week. Will that pay for groceries?” asked Conservative MP and committee member Pat Kelly.
When asked by Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre what the median income of Canadians was, Fortier was unable to provide any figures.
“When we talk about Canadians and middle class Canadians, we know that depending on where they live and depending on their realities they will have different incomes,” said Fortier.
The real extent of the cut was revealed by the Parliamentary Budget Office who suggested that high earners could benefit from the change more than ordinary Canadians.
“It’s perplexing to me because it seems so out of touch with the reality so many Canadian families are facing,” said NDP committee member Peter Julian.
“Half of Canadian families are $200 away from insolvency at the end of every month. People are saying $1.73 is not going to make a huge difference.”
“You know, I am looking at the middle class and we know Canadians want to have access to a good home, they want to be able to pay for education for their kids, they want a dignified and secure retirement, and they want a good job,” replied Fortier.
Trudeau announced the new ministerial position when he revealed the Liberal cabinet in November 2019.