Media Release: The top tier of Canadians at new highs: It’s time for a wealth tax

The top 1% have over 25% of Canada’s net wealth: PBO report

For Immediate Release – June 17, 2020

OTTAWA – The richest Canadians are getting richer and it’s time to tax them accordingly.

A report out today by the Parliamentary Budget Officer reveals just how extraordinarily unequally wealth is distributed in Canada. The approximately 100 billionaire families in Canada have more wealth that the bottom 40% Canadian families.  The top 1% have over 25% of net wealth, and top 0.01% over 5%.

“Canada is one of the few major countries without an inheritance, estate, gift or wealth tax. As the government looks for ways to pay down the economic toll of COVID-19 and reduce the inequalities that have been exacerbated by the crisis, it’s clear the top 1% should be contributing much more. Millions of Canadian families have had to rely on their savings to survive during the pandemic, while a number of the wealthiest families have increased their fortunes,” said Toby Sanger, director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.

These figures don’t just demonstrate how unequally wealth is distributed in Canada, but also help to show how much revenue could be generated from annual wealth taxes.  For instance, a progressive annual wealth tax of 1% on fortunes of over $20 million and of 2% on wealth of over $100 million would generate over $10 billion annually.

The PBO report comes just weeks after Abacus Data polling found an overwhelming majority of Canadians support a wealth tax of 1% or 2% on the wealthiest to help pay for the costs of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, previous polling also found majority support among Canadians of all political stripes and ages.

“The support for taxing the obscenely rich is growing and today’s report tells us the money is there. Rising inequality, which has been worsened by the pandemic, can no longer be ignored,” Sanger concluded.

Media Contact:

Erika Beauchesne, Communications Coordinator, Canadians for Tax Fairness, 613-315-8679

Canadians for Tax Fairness is a non-profit organization that advocates for progressive taxes to fund important public services, reduce inequality and strengthen the economy.