January 27, 2015 / 7:54 PM / 4 years ago

Canada's opposition leader proposes tax relief for small business

New Democratic Party leader Thomas Mulcair speaks during an Economic Club of Canada event in Ottawa January 27, 2015. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The leader of Canada’s left-leaning main opposition party proposed a tax cut for small businesses on Tuesday as he laid out some details of the party’s economic plan ahead of October’s general election.

New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Thomas Mulcair said he would reduce the small business tax rate to an eventual 9 percent from 11 percent, with a cut to 10 percent to be effective immediately if the party takes office. The reduction to 9 percent would come as finances permit.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses create the most jobs in Canada and it’s time we help them out,” Mulcair said in a speech to the Economic Club of Canada.

Mulcair also pledged to extend the accelerated capital cost allowance for manufacturers, which is scheduled to expire later this year, for another two years, and to create a manufacturing innovation tax credit to encourage investments in machinery, equipment and property used in research and development.

Although the election campaign won’t get underway in earnest until around September, the NDP has already laid out some aspects of its platform, and Mulcair said he will outline further economic measures in the weeks and months ahead.

Mulcair is currently in third place in the polls behind the governing Conservatives and the Liberals, though the NDP holds the second-largest number of seats in the House of Commons.

While Mulcair spoke only about small businesses in his speech on Tuesday, he said earlier in the week he wants to raise tax rates for large corporations closer to the average of Canada’s Group of Seven peers.

“Every single Canadian right now is paying their fair share of taxes. The only Canadians who are not paying their fair share are Canadian corporations, and we’re going to change that as soon as we form government,” Mulcair told reporters on Monday.

Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Peter Galloway

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