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Manitoba’s NDP government advertises income tax cuts initiated by Conservatives

Manitoba's NDP government has launched advertisements touting income tax cuts that were put forward and passed by the former Progressive Conservative government. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Manitoba’s NDP government has launched advertisements touting income tax cuts that were put forward and passed by the former Progressive Conservative government.

The ads, which appear on social media, feature smiling single people, couples and families with different dollar figures that represent their estimated annual savings

A man called John is depicted as saving $632, while a family with two kids named “The Kims” is shown as saving $1,386.

The tax cuts are already in effect and were part of the Progressive Conservative budget released last spring, months before the Oct. 3 election that saw the NDP sweep to power.

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“I think this is an important way for us to ensure Manitobans know about the work that we’re doing and delivering on our commitments,” Finance Minister Adrien Sala said in an interview.

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The NDP could have halted one of the tax cuts after the election, Sala added, but chose not to. Soon after taking office, the NDP said that the deficit was much higher than the Tories had stated.

“We had a decision to make before the end of October as to whether or not we were going to follow through … and we made a promise to improve affordability and so that’s exactly what we did. We followed through on that promise.”

The Tories, now in Opposition, said the NDP ads don’t mention who enacted the tax cuts.

“They need to thank the previous government for those savings,” Tory finance critic Obby Khan said.

The tax cut has two components: a rise in the basic personal amount people can earn before paying income tax, which took effect last year, and increases to the thresholds at which higher tax rates kick in, which took effect Jan. 1 of this year.

The ads follow another ad campaign that has promoted the NDP government’s temporary suspension of the provincial fuel tax, which started Jan. 1 and is set to run until June 30.

Some $200,000 has been budgeted so far for that campaign.

Khan said the Tory income tax cuts are better because they are permanent, while the NDP’s fuel-tax holiday, which saves consumers 14 cents a litre at the pump, is temporary.

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