A Penticton businessman is hoping to fire some pointed questions to the prime minister when Justin Trudeau hosts a Town Hall meeting in Kelowna Wednesday night.
“We’re hoping he’s going to address our concerns as opposed to just writing us off as a bunch of wealthy people complaining,” says Chris Struthers.
He owns StruthersTECH which specializes in electrical power systems and has 14 employees.
Like many small business owners Struthers takes advantage of measures, including sprinkling income to his unemployed wife, to reduce his taxes.
“It is a significant chunk,” says Struthers. “And especially in the early years of the business, when we were growing, it was those incentives that really made the difference and allowed us to hire more people and grow.”
Struthers is upset the federal government is planning to do away with tax reduction measures available to small business owners, and professionals such as doctors, who incorporate.
He says the changes will hinder the growth of his company.
“To be told we’re loopholes and the wealthiest fat cats in the country who need a shakedown, it’s insulting, it’s offensive.”
At a news conference Wednesday in Kelowna, the prime minister defended the proposed changes.
“People who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year,” said Trudeau.
The Liberal M-P for Kelowna-Lake Country says the tax reforms are not a done deal and changes are possible.
“The Conservatives are saying that, some of the press is saying that, no.” says Stephen Fuhr. “We’re absolutely in consultations. And I’ve been in teleconferences with the minister and I’m very confident he is listening.”
The government expects closing just the income sprinkling loophole will boost federal revenues by about $250 million a year.