The headline does not make it clear that Ignatieff has no intention of raising taxes at present but only when the economy has turned around for some while. The main other way in which deficits are reduced to is to cut programs or funding for them. Conservatives typically love to cut entitlements and reduce the safety net but who knows the Liberals might do the same as the less unpopular method among those who can fund the party!
No doubt some Conservative commentators will be jumping all over Ignatieff for saying this.
Fight deficit with tax hike: Ignatieff
It's unreasonable to rule out increase, Liberal Leader says, but recovery mustn't be slowed
The Canadian Press, with staff
April 15, 2009
WATERLOO, ONT. -- Federal taxes will have to rise to pay off Canada's burgeoning deficit, but not at the expense of economic recovery, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said yesterday.
The Conservative Party quickly jumped on Mr. Ignatieff's comments, highlighting them at the top of their website.
"We will have to raise taxes," but not at the expense of hurting the recovery from this recession, Mr. Ignatieff, on a four-day tour of Southwestern Ontario, told a meeting of the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce.
"An honest politician" cannot exclude a tax hike as an option, Mr. Ignatieff said in response to a question from Cambridge, Ont., business leader John Bell, who wanted to known when the federal debt will be paid back.
"I am not going to load a deficit onto your children or mine," Mr. Ignatieff said after a speech that centred on the need for the federal government to unite people rather than divide them during these trying economic times.
He also slammed federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty for labelling this recession as mild.
"You wonder what country he is in," Mr. Ignatieff said.
Michael O'Shaughnessy, Mr. Ignatieff's press secretary, said later that the party has "no plan and no desire to raise taxes" in a recession.
Later in Waterloo, Ont., Mr. Ignatieff said the federal Liberal Party supports a national standard for employment insurance eligibility to "even out unfairness" in the current system. "We want an EI system that is fair and equitable," Mr. Ignatieff told about 200 people attending a Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce meeting.
Mr. Ignatieff said many Canadians can't access EI because the standard for eligibility differs depending on where a person lives. In Southwestern Ontario there are six different standards, and 54 across Canada, he said.
"We think a national standard is fair," Mr. Ignatieff said.
He said his party is "actively working" on developing a national EI standard that will be part of his party's election platform.
The Etobicoke-Lakeshore MP later told reporters the cost of a national employment insurance standard hasn't been determined.
Mr. Ignatieff also said municipalities "haven't seen a dime yet" of the money promised in the government's economic stimulus budget.
The money should be funnelled to municipalities as they know best how to spend it, not federal bureaucrats, Mr. Ignatieff said.
And he said government investment in science and technology is key to creating jobs, but that federal funding for this sector has dropped since the Tories took power.