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Poll suggests half of Canadians have negative opinion of latest Liberal budget

A recent survey conducted by Leger indicates that the federal Liberals' latest budget has not garnered widespread approval from Canadians, with almost half of respondents expressing a negative opinion. The budget, unveiled last Tuesday, received positive feedback from only 21 percent of those surveyed, while one-third either withheld their opinion or opted not to respond.

Despite mixed feelings toward the budget as a whole, a significant majority of 65 percent of respondents viewed the proposed investment of $8.5 billion in housing positively. This allocation aims to facilitate the construction of 3.9 million homes by 2031, a move perceived as beneficial for the country's housing market.

Leger's poll, which surveyed 1,522 Canadians over the weekend, lacked a margin of error due to the nature of online surveys, which are not deemed truly random samples.

Among the provinces, Albertans were notably more critical of the budget, with 42 percent expressing a very negative impression compared to the national average of 25 percent. However, over half of the respondents across the country expressed support for increased spending on energy efficiency, national defense, and student-loan forgiveness for healthcare and education professionals.

Additionally, 56 percent of respondents welcomed the proposed increase in the capital gains tax inclusion rate, estimated to generate an additional $19.4 billion in revenue over four years. The Liberals advocate this change as essential for enhancing generational fairness by taxing the wealthiest individuals more. However, concerns have been raised, including by the Canadian Medical Association, regarding its potential impact on physician recruitment and retention.

The proposed alteration would make two-thirds of capital gains taxable, affecting individuals with profits exceeding $250,000, with no lower threshold for corporations. Many doctors, who have incorporated their practices to save for retirement, are expected to face higher taxes as a result.

Interestingly, while the Liberal government targets younger Canadians, such as millennials and gen-Zers, with changes to the capital gains tax, the measure garnered the highest support—60 percent—among respondents over the age of 55.

Regarding defense spending, the budget's plan to allocate an additional $73 billion over the next two decades faced varying levels of support across age groups. Respondents aged 18 to 35 were less likely to view increased defense spending positively, with only 45 percent in favor, compared to 70 percent among those over 55.

Looking ahead, opinions diverge on the country's fiscal strategy, with 47 percent of respondents advocating for spending cuts and program reductions to swiftly balance the budget. Meanwhile, 16 percent support increased spending and running large deficits over the next five years, while 14 percent favor tax hikes to reduce the deficit.



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