Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett was kind enough to send me the question that Ralph Goodale asked today in QP that incorporated a reference to income trusts (see below), for which I thank her.
With the best interests of the Liberal party and all Canadians in mind, allow me to use this as an example of what I and many others feel is lacking in the manner by which the income trust issue is being raised and used by the Liberal Party.
First of all, the reference to income trusts is in the context of a list of past grievances that the question suggests can be “bartered” to gain better EI benefits. The implicit message to 2.5 million aggrieved income trust investors is that they are water under the bridge. Not a comforting thought.
Second of all, the question makes reference to the fact that the Conservatives raised income taxes. If this is in regards to moving the lowest personal tax rate from 15% to 15.5% in Budget 2006, then this is somewhat disingenuous, as the Conservatives subsequently reversed that move, so the net effect was that the Conservatives DID NOT raise taxes. Therefore that issue, truly is water under the bridge. If the Liberals wish to paint the Conservatives with the brush that they have raised taxes in a way that affects ALL CANADIANS, then the better and more valid argument would be to PLEASE make the point that I have been asking the Liberals to make, which draws from my article in this weeks’ Hill Times, that states:
“Meanwhile, all the remaining trusts are vulnerable to the same outcome, which would multiply by seven-fold Flaherty’s incompetence and his already $1 billion loss of ANNUAL taxes. He shoots, he scores.”
As such, the trust tax has caused a massive wave of foreign takeovers of trusts made vulnerable by Harper’s policy. This wave of takeovers has only temporarily abated and will resume with a vengeance once credit is restored to the financial markets to enable more LBOs of devalued trusts. This will lead to the loss of $7.5 billion in ANNUAL TAX REVENUE, borne by ALL CANADIANS, which is the equivalent of a 1.5% GST increase......and unless the Liberals are prepared to tell Canadians, then Harper will get away with it.
All taxpayers are losing $7.5 billion in ANNUAL TAX revenue for the privilege (???) of having Canadian investors displaced by new foreign owners. Huh? This is dynamite and it is real, in the way in which attempting to portray Harper as a tax raiser on personal income taxes, is not. This is how the trust tax needs to be “prosecuted”. That is all that we ask. Please do so, for the benefit of all, especially Canadian taxpayers and the Liberal Party.
Third. You will notice in Harper’s answer that he cites “pension income splitting for seniors” as an offset to his income trust tax. What utter nonsense, since the people who have pensions are the ones least in need of income trusts. Plus pension income splitting for seniors ONLY BENEFITS 13% of seniors. Woopdeedo! This is Harper’s idea of tax fairness? Again read my article on page 17 of the Hill Times. As for the calculation of the 13% who benefit from pension income splitting, please see: http://caiti-online.blogspot.com/2009/04/what-harpers-income-splitting-for.html
Hon. Ralph Goodale (Wascana, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, Canadians will remember this Prime Minister's egregious record. First, these Conservatives increased personal income taxes by nearly a billion dollars. Then they slapped a 31.5% Conservative tax on retirement savings and income trusts. Then they sunk the nation into deficit during boom times so that there was nothing left when the recession hit and killed 300,000 full time jobs.
Could the Conservatives at least agree to fix the EI system to be a little more generous to its victims or would that make the system too lucrative?
And the PM’s response...
Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC): First, Mr. Speaker, to be clear, this government has cut personal income taxes in every single budget it has brought forward.
In spite of the opposition of the Liberal Party, this government has cut taxes for our retirees, including income splitting for our pensioners, and in spite of the fact that the Liberal party opposed it.
This government was running surpluses when times were good so we can afford to intervene in times like these.
Let me tell the House this. No matter how many distortions of fact the Liberal Party tries, no one is going to buy their plan to raise taxes.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Posted by Fillibluster at 11:04 PM