Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When, if ever, will the Liberals hold Harper to account for his income trust fraud?

The Liberals are claiming victory today over Harper by introducing a budget amendment that will make Harper accountable for his budget measures. Some victory? Meanwhile the budget proceeds otherwise, as is, warts and all.

Meanwhile, what are the Liberals doing to make Harper accountable for his major budget transgressions of the past? Why the selective application of the standards of accountability? Are we to surmise from today’s Liberal actions that there is a statute of limitations that applies to Harper’s complete unaccountability for his income trust fraud?

We have been calling for true accountability on this matter for over two years, and have received none. Not from Harper. Not from the Auditor General. Not from the media. Not from the opposition parties. Notice that we haven’t been arguing for policy changes like an oil and gas carve out or a ten year extension, but rather the proof of Harper’s central policy rationale. i.e. alleged tax leakage.

The issue of income trusts is foremost, an issue about accountability, and tax fairness. When will the Liberals do something tangible about this policy that has seen Canadians lose $35 billion of their lifetime savings and seem many Canadians retirements’ destroyed by having to live on 50% of their former income? Rhetoric without action, is meaningless, and does nothing to comfort those who have been deeply adversely affected.

Meanwhile, all taxpayers are bearing the cost of this most self-destructive policy, since over $1.2 billion in annual tax revenue is being lost from the takeover of income trusts via non taxable entities and through non taxable acquisition structures. Real tax leakage has become the substitute for phantom tax leakage. That number will soon rise to $7.5 billion. If the Liberals do not act when the opportunity presents itself, then they become complicit in the outcome.


Bruce Benson said...

Well I will repeat what I said in an earlier post.

Well here we go again, Dion revisited. Iggy sucks up a big one to Harper. There were no new amendments other than forcing the Cons to report on how well they are spending our money. Is this not the 45th time the Liberals have supported Harper and his band of liars? Iggy should have given the coalition a chance. Well, here is my new position. I am pissed and there will not be any renewal of my Liberal membership and there will not be any contributions to the Liberal party. Putting Harper on notice (probation), what a waste of good breath.

Brent, I have decided that the Liberals have absolutely no intention of holding Harper to account. Therefore the Liberals are complicit in this great fraud.

Tom said...

Brent, Bruce, I hear what you're saying and I agree Harper has a lot to answer for on the income trust issue. One point that should be stressed is the one Michael made the other day about how killing the energy trust has harmed the Alberta oil & gas sector, which provides jobs and drives growth across the country.

Ultimately Harper is going to face the consequences of his actions, including his 180 on the income trust file. But while I don't think the budget is perfect, I'm pragmatic and don't think that in the middle of this mess - a mess created by Stephen Harper - that we should be injecting more uncertainty into the situation. The responsible thing is to reassure people and businesses that concrete steps are being taken to help the economy and to ensure those steps are taken by keeping Harper on a short leash. If that means that we have to be patient on a few issues close to Liberals' hearts, I think that's a reasonable and responsible price to pay.

Dr Mike said...

It has been a long & hard fight & a lot of us have put in hour after hour just hoping to gain a constituency with anyone.

My old party , the Cons are as far out in left field as you can get & still be in the game---the Libs keep us hopeful but unsatisfied--the Green have perhaps been our best friend but are not even in the game--the Dippers are somewhere out behind the stands of the wrong game.

It has been a frustrating time for people who did nothing wrong other than invest in our own country & be there to own good Canadian assets in an attempt to earn an income to keep us independent.

If we were wrong to expect to be treated right , then I guess it was us who should be kicked in the ass & told to wise-up.

Politicians are an odd crew--it seems unless there is something in it for them then to hell with you.

It appears that doing the right thing is not a good enough reward.

Dr Mike Popovich.