Billionaires in B.C. disproportionally benefitted by Canadian tax system, economy researchers say. (Flickr photo)

B.C. billionaires worth 5,845 times average middle-income household

Economists argue for changes to Canadian tax system benefitting rich

Ten families in B.C. are worth more than the combined total of 1.32 million lower-income residents in the province, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

It’s a discrepancy economists Alex Hemingway and David Macdonald highlight in a recent analysis of how Canada’s tax system benefits people for their existing wealth rather than work they are actually doing.

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“[The] reality is that B.C. is enormously wealthy — we’ve simply allowed this wealth to be amassed by the richest few. There is nothing inevitable about this and we can create public policy to benefit the majority,” Hemingway said in a release.

Out of the 10 families researchers studied, seven inherited their wealth from previous generations.

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With a net worth of $25 billion, the wealthiest billionaires in the province are 5,845 times richer than the median middle-income household. Canada, the analysis said, is the only country in the G7 that doesn’t have an inheritance tax. The CCPA is asking to introduce an inheritance tax at the rate of 45 per cent on estates worth more than $5 million.

“This research shows that countries with more income inequality are likely to have lower life expectancy, worse health outcomes, higher crime rates and lower levels of social trust,” the analysis said.


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