OPSEU to McGuinty: Create Commission on Fair Taxes and Quality Public Services

TORONTO, April 14 /CNW/ - The Ontario Public Service Employees Union is calling on the McGuinty government to establish a commission to study the tax system and its ability to fund provincial public services.

In a letter to the Premier this week, OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas wrote: "The Drummond Commission on Public Sector Reform is fatally flawed because it is mandated to only look at the spending side of the financial equation. It has not been instructed to review the revenue side as well.

"What we need instead is for your government to engage with the people of Ontario in a serious and ongoing conversation about the value of public services and the tax system that pays for them."

The OPSEU president said the proposed Commission on Fair Taxes and Quality Public Services should be guided by three priorities:

1)     To connect the revenue side with the benefits of quality public services;

2)     To propose measures that would restore tax fairness to the revenue system;

3)     To develop a Fairness Test that would assess the impact of key tax and spending policies in future provincial budgets on income inequality.

Thomas said that if the Premier rejects the idea of commission to study taxation and public services then OPSEU would be prepared to organize one itself, by hosting town hall meetings across the province where non-traditional stakeholders, such as middle and low income groups, marginalized communities and minority groups, would be invited to participate.

"OPSEU recognizes that the public wants a leader who understands the value of quality public services and is prepared to talk straight about the need to pay for them through a fair tax system. We hope you recognize this as well," Thomas wrote in his letter to the Premier.

The full text of OPSEU's letter to Premier McGuinty can be found at:

http://opseu.org/notices/april-13-2011-thomas-letter-to-premier.htm


SOURCE Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU)

For further information:

Greg Hamara
OPSEU Public Affairs & Communications
416-443-8888 ext 8777
647-238-9933 cell


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