Canadians and Corporate Tax Cuts

A new study by Ottawa-based research and strategy firm Abacus Data suggests that a majority of Canadians are opposed to the Conservative government’s plan to continue existing corporate tax cuts.

Respondents were first asked whether Canada’s corporate tax rates were too high, too low, or about right.  The results yielded a nearly even four-way split.

“Canadians, on average, don’t know much about what Canadian corporations pay in tax relative to those in other countries,” said David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data.

Once respondents were made aware of Canada’s tax position relative to the United States, Germany, Japan, and Britain, two statements were presented – the federal government’s argument and the opposition parties’ argument.

“This finding suggests that as Canadians become aware of how low Canada’s tax rates are compared to other countries, it becomes more difficult to convince them to support them.”

“Right now, public opinion is firmly aligned with the opposition parties,” said Coletto.  “Only 21% of respondents buy the job creation argument when given the alternative to spend more on health care or to reduce the deficit.”

The survey then asked Canadians if they support or oppose the government’s plan to continue with the corporate tax cuts.  In total, 52% strongly or somewhat oppose the government’s plan, while 26% support or strongly support it.

“Partisanship does drive opinion to some extent,” said Coletto.  “But not all Conservative Party supporters support the government’s decision to continue with the tax cut so the Conservative government has some work to do to shore up its base and convince undecided voters of the merit of its policies.”

To review a detailed report and the survey’s methodology, download the report here.

Between January 21 and 24, 2011, Abacus Data Inc. conducted an online survey among 1,105  randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 100,000 Canadians. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is comparable to +/- 3.0%, 19 times out of 20.

Results of the survey were statistically weighted by gender, age, region, and language using census data from Statistics Canada and by past vote using Elections Canada results from the 2008 General Election. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

To review a detailed report and the survey’s methodology, download the report here.