Friday, December 7, 2007

Green Party calls for inquiry into the alleged tax leakage of income trusts

The following is a press release issued by the Green Party of Canada on Dec 07, 2007

OTTAWA – The Green Party of Canada is calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to launch a public inquiry into Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s unproven allegation that income trusts result in a loss of tax revenue to Ottawa.

To date, no evidence has been provided by the Department of Finance to support the pivotal policy assumption that income trusts result in a loss of tax revenue. The only evidence provided by the government has been 18 pages of blacked out documents obtained by Access to Information. In a highly unusual move, the Department of Finance subsequently asked that these documents be returned

“The Harper government’s actions do not demonstrate the accountability or transparency necessary for the proper functioning of a modern democracy,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “As the Auditor General has said, ‘Parliamentarians need objective fact based information on how well the Government raises its funds’.”

A report issued today by accounting firm Deloitte indicates that the flurry of income trust buyouts that have occurred since the decision to tax income trusts, many by foreigners such as Abu Dhabi Energy and Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings, has actually resulted in a loss of taxes.

According to Deloitte, “Buyers in the 40 announced deals were equally split between strategic and private equity, as well as between domestic and foreign. But in terms of tax revenue for the Canadian government, the news was not so balanced: 70% of purchasers are tax exempt pension/private equity funds or foreign buyers who pay little if any tax in this country.”

Green Party Finance critic Peter Graham said that the income trust tax announced on Halloween of 2006 has resulted in a loss to the value of the hard-earned savings of Canadians of $35 billion.

“These Canadians have also lost significant retirement income,” said Mr. Graham. “As Mr. Harper stated himself in an op-ed in National Post on October 26, 2005, ‘Seniors are actually enraged, frightened and panicked about potentially losing retirement savings that they count on for the essentials of daily living.’.

For more information, see the Deloitte report: Income trust buyouts: Lots of activity, little tax revenue

Camille Labchuk
Press Secretary
613-562-4916 ext. 244

Peter Graham
Finance Critic


Tootrusting said...

This is the biggest financial scandal in Canadian history we have already lost $2 billion in tax revenue every year which will increase to $7.5 billion if nothing is done, it makes the Mulruney/Schreiber affair look like small potatoes.

The inquiry should also look into the action of certain corporate leaders who would appear to be acting as un-registered lobbyists.

Robert Gibbs said...

The Liberal Party gets it.
The Green Party gets it.
The Bloc Party partially gets it.

We know the NDP Party is too stupid to get it.

Obviously, the CON Party is too embarrassed and too fearful of appearing incompetent to admit it.

nineofiveland said...

Lets hope this gets some traction!!!

I'll be writing Elizabeth May to say thanks and to keep at it.

Dr Mike said...


Thank you Elizabeth May--the Liberals need to finally get on the ball--they have been severely lacking in their use of the trust issue as a lever to remove the Harper Gov`t.

Let the fun begin.


Anonymous said...

I recommend an email campaign to all members of Parliament (although writing to the gutless CRAP party sheep might be a waste of energy). Here's a link to the email addys of MP's

DEMAND A PUBLIC INQUIRY into the disgraceful actions of the Harper Regime.

This Harper betrayal is an utter disgrace and an affront to to democracy.

Kephalos said...

I trust (pun intended) that the Inquiry will seek documents and ask questions relative to the ten Fin Min bobble heads who wrote supporting letters that Flaherty used at FINA.

For eight of ten provinces, the 31.5% tax is counter-productive, even nonsensical. Energy trusts do a market-based inter-prov transfer from oil producing AB and SK to the other provinces. ON gets an annual $250 million windfall from energy trusts.

So why did the ON Fin Min corrupt the source of the windfall?

Possibly, it was incompetence. Well, let's send some auditrons into ON Finance for a document scan, eh? Of course, that approach won't work in QC because the Fin Min there did not document his calculation.

The Inquiry better get going before the shredder-blades get turning.