Federal Finance Minister defends planned tax reforms

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is defending his planned income-tax reforms, saying they are needed because small business owners have an unfair advantage that could create two classes of Canadians for tax rates and retirement income.

He says the current system means business owners who incorporate their companies pay lower taxes while a second class of citizens ends up with a higher tax bill.

Morneau says proposed changes introduced in July would do away with ``inappropriate'' tax planning methods that benefit the ``privileged few.''

The finance minister, speaking in Vancouver yesterday after meeting with small business owners, said Canadian small business owners pay the lowest income tax of all G-7 countries and this helps fuel job creation.

But entrepreneurs say the current incentives let them take on the risks of starting new companies and, unlike salaried and public-sector employees, they don't have a guaranteed pension or employment insurance protection.

And, Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre says Morneau has spent the cupboard bare and he's now looking to raise taxes on small businesses to pay for it.

The consultation period on the tax changes will end on October 2nd.