In the last few years, I have noticed the word “taxpayers” used much more frequently in our political lexicon. I’d like to take this opportunity to call on politicians to strike this term from their vocabularies in favour of a term more befitting of the citizenry. I feel that when a politician uses this term, it implies that they only consider the needs of a select group of citizens rather than the needs broader community. The term implies two classes of citizens, where those who are “taxpayers” receive preferential treatment in policy-making, while those who are not “taxpayers” must hope for some trickle-down benefit.
I do not own property, nor do I make enough money for significant amounts of income tax to be deducted. But, does this mean that my opinions and needs are of less value than those of the head of my neighbour’s household? Those who are not required to pay taxes still have a stake in the success of cities, provinces and countries. Respect for taxpayers, or whatever the buzzword of this election cycle is, should not come at the cost of respect for all those who desire a better community.