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Conservatives' Kenney promises no change to personal income tax rates

United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney speaks to supporters after being sworn in as MLA for Calgary-Lougheed, in Edmonton on January 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta Opposition leader Jason Kenney says he won’t be making any changes to personal income tax rates if he wins the spring election.

Kenney says that with Alberta running multibillion-dollar deficits, the cupboard is bare and tax reform will have to wait.

Members of his United Conservative Party voted last year to return to a flat tax on income, but Kenney says that idea will stay on the sidelines until Alberta’s economy rebounds and the budget is balanced.

Premier Rachel Notley’s government ended the 10 per cent flat tax rate in 2015 and replaced it with a progressive system that sees high-income earners pay more.

The NDP says a return to the flat tax by Kenney would equate to an annual $700-million tax giveaway to wealthy insiders.

Kenney has already announced that a United Conservative government would repeal the carbon tax and gradually reduce the corporate income tax rate to eight per cent from 12 per cent.