Press Release – Aug 25, 2008 – for immediate release
$50,000 offered in scholarships if Flaherty will debate income trust tax
An organization which is opposed to Jim Flaherty's decision to tax income trusts has offered $50,000 in scholarships to students in the Whitby-Oshawa riding as an inducement to Flaherty to publicly debate the issue.
”Given the economic turmoil in the Region's key auto sector and the need for higher education, the offer should be accepted,” says Doug Anderson the Green party candidate who is running against Flaherty in the next election.
Brent Fullard the president of the Canadian Association of Income Trust Investors (CAITI) has challenged the Finance Minister to a public debate. CAITI contends that when the Conservative government broke its 2006 election promise to "never tax income trusts" it reduced the equity in existing trusts by $31.5 billion dollars. Much of this was held in personal retirement savings funds and many seniors found their life savings devastated.
The Ministry of Finance claimed that the government was losing too much revenue – that income trusts caused "tax leakage".
However, numerous financial managers such as BMO Capital Markets, Cannaccord Capital and RBC World Markets have crunched the numbers themselves and have found that the tax implications of income trusts were either neutral or even positive.
Both the Green Party and the Liberals have challenged the income trust tax.
When asked to defend the trust tax, the Finance ministry released several pages on which all the relevant numbers were blacked out. The current line from Dan Miles who is Flaherty's Director of Communications is that the "tax decision is now law" and people should "move on".
Green party leader, Elizabeth May stated that “parliamentarians need objective fact based information on how well the Government raises its funds. The Harper government’s actions do not demonstrate the accountability or transparency necessary for the proper functioning of a modern democracy,”
“The public, and especially those seniors who lost their savings, have a right to some answers. It is clear that Flaherty would prefer to avoid this issue, and that’s why Fullard has offered of $50,000 in scholarships as an inducement,” said Anderson.
Flaherty will have to address the issue in the next election as CAITI and both the Liberal and Green parties have vowed that it won't go away.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Posted by Fillibluster at 3:41 PM