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Bill Kelly: Doug Ford’s tax credits are no help for the working poor

Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford waves a copy of the Provincial Budget as he takes questions from journalists, during a pre-budget lock-up. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The good news is that Doug Ford and the Ontario Progressive Conservatives seem to be beginning to unveil some of their plans if they should win this spring’s provincial election.

The bad news is their announcement Monday about a tax credit instead of a minimum wage increase is wrong-headed and actually detrimental to Ontario’s working poor.

READ MORE: Ontario PC leader Doug Ford vows to eliminate provincial income tax for minimum wage earners

Ford is already on record as opposing the planned top-up which would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Instead, he’ll offer an $800 tax credit for minimum wage earners, which he says will put more money into their pockets, except it won’t.

Statistics show that many minimum wage earners don’t pay provincial tax because of existing tax laws, so Ford’s tax credit is a non starter for them.

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READ MORE: Ontario NDP unveils party platform, promises free child-care program, health-care spending

For a guy who is allegedly “for the people,”  Ford clearly doesn’t understand that Ontario’s working poor need money in their pockets right now to pay for groceries or rent or utilities.

A wage hike puts more money in their hands every two weeks, not once a year at tax time, if they even qualify.

Many of Ontario’s working poor are  using food banks and working two or more jobs to make ends meet.

They’re not looking for a hand out, but a hand up.

Unfortunately, Doug Ford’s plan gives them neither.

Bill Kelly is the host of Bill Kelly Show on AM 900 CHML and a commentator for Global News

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