Government should re-establish a fair taxation system

MIRAMICHI – Further cuts to public services either on the provincial or municipal level is not the remedy to the current financial situation in New Brunswick.

The three unions representing the City of Miramichi employees – CUPE Local 1387 Civic Employees; CUPE Local 3863 Inside Workers; and CUPE Local 4558 Firefighters – are very concerned with the possibility of further reductions in municipal services.

“Last night, members of the three unions met to discuss the city’s current financial situation”, explained Patrick Roy, CUPE Representative.

“The municipal workers are concerned the city might put the burden of the current financial situation on their shoulders.”

“We all know that the region is going through a difficult time. We may not be able to replace the jobs and the tax revenues lost from the mill anytime soon, but the provincial government can alleviate the situation by going back to a progressive tax system”, said Roy.

The government’s decision to reduce the income tax for the wealthy and large corporations has dramatically reduced its revenue base and its ability to properly finance municipalities who provide daily services to the citizens of this province.

“Earlier this week, Premier Alward met with the city officials and admitted that the region was under a lot a stress. The Premier can, if he wants, help alleviate this stress by re-establishing a fair taxation system instead of looking at cutting further public services. The loss of income tax revenues forced the province to reduce even further the annual unconditional grant municipalities receive to provide services such as water, sewage, garbage collection, recreational facilities, etc.”

“We need to generate revenues and, to do so, the government needs to go back to a progressive tax system where everyone is paying their fair share of taxes. It also means that municipalities have to consider slowly raising their taxes to offset the cuts from the provincial government.”

“We will continue to work closely with the city to provide good public services in our community. We believe we can help the city save more money by bringing back in house all municipal services,” concluded Roy.