Young Nova Scotians are rallying behind PC Leadership Candidate Tim Houston’s proposal to eliminate individual Nova Scotia income tax for anyone 25 and under on their first $50,000 of earned income.
The idea was first shared during Houston’s remarks at the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia’s Annual General Meeting in February. Since then the concept has picked up steam – not just with young people, but with their parents and grandparents who are tired of seeing their children and grandchildren head west for opportunity.
"This is an investment in building the human infrastructure needed to move the province into the future. We have the jobs, we need to match them to the right people,” says Houston, MLA for Pictou East. “It’s time to end the norm of youth leaving our province and show the country that Nova Scotia is the place to build a life.”
Houston notes the majority of young people are not dependent on our health care system, nor do they typically have children in the P-12 system. Simply put, they're not using many government services that cost taxpayer money.
“We want to stay, we want to take advantage of opportunities, but it needs to be financially feasible for us to do that,” says Brianna Titus, Past President of the Nova Scotia Young PCs, and one of many to share their support of the plan on Houston’s website. “Giving us some breathing room to catch up, save some money, start to pay off our loans will play a huge role in deciding to stay or head west.”
Providing a clear incentive for young people to stay in, or return to, Nova Scotia will support the growth of existing companies who are heavily dependent on an aging workforce and also have a number of jobs left unfilled. In a recent article in The Chronicle Herald, Francis McGuire, president of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, pointed out that there are more than 20,000 jobs that are unfilled in the Atlantic region.
The tax elimination for this age group will also help build an attractive environment for outside organizations to expand their services into Nova Scotia and support our innovative young Nova Scotians in their paths as entrepreneurs.
Gordon Stirrett, Principal of Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management, believes Houston’s idea is the push Nova Scotia needs, and that Government is not taking full advantage of the favourable environment the Province has available for start-ups to thrive.
“It’s about time we have the attitude in Nova Scotia that we shouldn’t be second to anyone in the IT and start-up sectors,” said Stirrett. “It’s going to take government focus and bold ideas to really help kick-start this in a big way. We have the opportunity to be national leader in this area – this is the type of innovative, aggressive initiative that can get us there.”
If you support Tim's plan, click here to show your support.