Houston's call for tax break for Nova Scotians 25 and under gains momentum

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.

Endorsements for Tim's plan

Sam Scobey
21, NSYPC, Dalhousie Campus Conservatives, Queens-Shelburne
When I heard about Tim’s income tax elimination plan I was reassured about my options to stay in Nova Scotia after I graduate from university. I went to university in this province because I love it, and I believe in it’s ability to be great, unfortunately the high taxes can make it feel like Nova Scotia doesn’t believe in me. I was so happy to hear about Tim’s plan for the young people of Nova Scotia.
Brody Haskell
22, StFX Campus Conservatives, Annapolis
Recent graduates, students, and young adults in Nova Scotia are struggling to pay off student loans, pay their bills, stay on top of their other expenses, and invest in their futures. Tim’s elimination of individual income tax for people 25 and under would relieve that burden, and incentivize our young population to stay in Nova Scotia, while attracting young talent to the province. This plan will benefit our economy and the lives of young Nova Scotians.
Brett Martin
21, SMU Tories, Clayton Park West
Eliminating provincial income tax for people 25 and under is essential to retaining people like myself who came from another province to study in Nova Scotia. Tim’s tax plan is the kick start that young professionals need to start their lives and careers in Nova Scotia
Matt LeBlanc
19, Dartmouth East
The majority of people 25 and under are stuck in a difficult position, most have recently graduated post-secondary with massive student loan burdens, have moved out on their own and are facing rising bills. Youth face massive amounts of debt at this point in their lives and I believe people 25 and under would benefit immensely from the elimination of income tax, they’re at the beginning of their careers, they should be able to prosper not scrape by
Jack Dawson
Jack Dawson, 20, Dartmouth East
The elimination of individual income tax for people 25 and under would provide me with more opportunities to adequately prepare myself for adult life. I would be able to invest my money, purchase a home instead of rent, pay off loans, and boost the economy. It’s nice to see someone making common sense policy decisions that benefit our young people.
Aaron Sophocleous
20, Dalhousie Campus Conservatives, Halifax Citadel-Sable Island
Tim’s tax policy is a bold idea that Nova Scotia’s economy needs in order to strengthen and become competitive. This policy indicates that Tim is serious about dealing with youth retention. He’s the only one making policy changes in order to ensure youth can create a career and start a family here in Nova Scotia.
Tyler Kingston
21, STFX Campus Conservatives, Antigonish
Tim’s plan to eliminate individual income tax for people 25 and under is a game changer, especially for university and college students. It allows us to focus on paying off student debt, while getting settled down and investing in Nova Scotia. This will make a big difference in professional programs like nursing, giving people a few years to take advantage of this program while providing the province with services it desperately needs. In short - this plan is genius!
Brontë Norris
25, Halifax Chebucto
I have been working full time in Nova Scotia since I was 19, and I still find it difficult to get ahead of the high costs. Eliminating individual income tax would have allowed me to pay off my student debt, and get a head start on saving and investing for my future, rather than constantly feeling like I’m falling behind. This plan is so necessary to keep our young people here, it’s so nice to see someone making plans that will actually help keep young people here.
Brendan Nichol
26, Pictou West
Like countless young Nova Scotians, it takes one flip through a high school yearbook for me to be hit with the hard reality that our province is continuing to lose young people at a shocking rate. I fully support Tim Houston’s bold and decisive plan to eliminate individual income tax for Nova Scotians 25 and under. With this plan, our province becomes more attractive to budding entrepreneurs, dedicated community volunteers, and people looking to start a family. This plan changes the direction of Nova Scotia and ensures a positive future.
Brianna Titus
22, NSYPC, Fairview-Clayton Park
We want to stay, we want to take advantage of opportunities, but it needs to be financially feasible for us to do that. 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.
Kyle Mackenzie
21, Dalhousie Campus Conservatives, Pictou West
I think eliminating income tax for young Nova Scotians is a fantastic idea. Many young people in this province are struggling to live a quality of life they would like. This will help place young Nova Scotians in the working class on equal footing with their peers. With so many people my age leaving the province, I’m glad to see some proactive steps in retaining our young folks.
Heidi Dawson
24, Dartmouth East
As someone who has spent the last 6 years in university, I know that after graduation I will not have a solid financial future. The elimination of individual income tax would allow me to start paying off my student loans while having more freedom to look for work in my field. This policy would allow young Nova Scotians to put their money back into the economy while allowing them to create a stable financial future to start their lives on.
William Burns
20, Bedford
Tim Houston's policy of removing the income tax burden from those 25 and under is a welcome common sense strategy to encourage young people to stay or move to Nova Scotia. This saved income will help young people get on their feet after finishing school, and make the province a more welcoming place to young people
Riley Hill-Pettipas
18, SMU Tories, NSYPC, Sackville-Beaverbank
I support Tim’s tax plan because he’s the only one giving young people a reason to stay in this province. Most young Nova Scotians don’t want to leave, but feel they have no choice. Eliminating individual income tax for people 25 and under makes it easier to stay here and start our careers. It gives us a chance to succeed in the province we love. We need plan to keep young people here, Tim has that plan.

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