Stop corporate tax cuts: labour rep

Daniel MacEachern
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Lana Payne, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour says the federal government needs to stop corporate tax cuts. — Telegram file photo

The president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour says the Harper government needs to stop corporate tax cuts.

Lana Payne, after speaking to a roundtable pre-budget consultation in St. John’s on Wednesday afternoon, told The Telegram corporate tax cuts are costing the Canadian economy about $13 billion a year in tax breaks.

“Our position is — and this is just the tax cuts the Conservatives have brought in; this doesn’t include billions in corporate tax cuts that were brought in by the Paul Martin Liberals and the Jean Chrétien Liberals — we’ve had about 15 years of massive cuts in corporate taxes in Canada, and we have the lowest in the industrialized world, and it’s really, really time to stop the hacking away at these corporate tax cuts, particularly when you consider that those corporations that benefit the most from the corporate tax breaks are people who just don’t need them, don’t need these breaks.

“They’re banks, and oil companies, and mining companies, and they’re doing very well, thank you very much.”

Payne said the federation would rather see tax income invested in municipal infrastructure, post-secondary education, early learning programs and child care, as well as addressing poverty in seniors.

Payne said it might seem futile to ask a Conservative majority government to end corporate tax cuts, but she said even economists — including in a recent report by BMO economist Doug Porter — are warning the federal government that its austerity plans are too deep and too fast.

“I think that this is a federal government that now is making decisions based on ideology and not what’s right for the country, and not what’s right for the economy, so in that context I think it’s incredibly frustrating,” she said. “But at the same time, I think we have to continue to do this. We have to press the case and try and get across these points of view.”

Richard Alexander, executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council, made a presentation to the morning roundtable focusing on unfunded pension liabilities.

“We could be in a bad position financially as a country and have huge debt for our children’s generation if we don’t take some drastic measures in order to try and get those unfunded liabilities under control,” he said.

The roundtables where chaired by Kellie Leitch, parliamentary secretary to Diane Finley, the federal minister of human resources and skills development, at the Baine Johnston Building.

Twitter: TelegramDaniel

Organizations: Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, Conservatives, BMO Newfoundland and Labrador Employers

Geographic location: Canada

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Recent comments

  • CD
    February 02, 2012 - 17:10

    Interesting to read comments by someone who calls himself a big businessman who in reality is probablly someone who has to borrow a couple of dollars to eat at McDonalds. But enough about him/her. I would like to comment on the article. Large corporations are owned by thousands of shareholders. A large percentage of the shares are in mutual funds and pension plans. So the profits generated by these corporations is not paid to a few but benefit thousands of Canadians and are an important part of their retirement. So when these corporations are made less profitable because of taxation, its our seniors that get hurt. When a corporation has to increase the costs of its products because of this taxation its you and me that pay more, when jobs are lost because of this taxation causing layoffs its our jobs that are lost and new jobs are created in Asia. We must look at the consequences of our actions of our actions, and in the case of taxing corporations into oblivion the consequences can be disasterous.

  • Respnse to Townie, BR, JW
    February 02, 2012 - 13:27

    Firstly, I am not moving. I may move my company and the jobs associated with my company, but I am not moving. I like living in Canada. I was born here, and will die here. I will continue to pay my taxes here and support the economy with my personal and corporate spending in Canada. I will also continue to work here. I will not be moving my job offshore, nor the jobs of my friends and family whom I employ. That said, it really would be silly of me to stay in Canada for much longer. I have already experimented with moving jobs to right to work states, and it working out great. HERE IS THE PROBLEM: you have right to work states who are offering to give me free money, offer me lower taxes and allow me to pay workers a near=$7/hour minimum wage for labour that is of comparable quality of the Canadian labour that I have now, whereas in Canada, I have to pay a higher minimum wage, EI, CPP and all kinds of other crap that benefits other people more than it benefits me. Really the choice is simple. that is why I have been moving jobs slowly to the right to work states. THe only reason why I haven't moved all the jobs is because I am trying to get more grants from different states. If the offer X dollars to move 100 jobs and the same X dollars for 200 jobs, then common sense dictates that I move the 100 jobs, take the X dollars and then strike another deal with another right to work state to give up the next 100 jobs for Y dollars. Then I get X+Y. It is quite simple really. SO in conclusion, I personally will not be moving because I love this country...It is my home....but that said, it is extremely inefficient to operate in Canada, especially if all you need is unskilled, uneducated english speaking workers. All I need is people to read, and that is simply not worth more than $7. The USA gets it, they understand, and they thank me with gifts, tax breaks, and financial incentives.

  • Townie
    February 02, 2012 - 09:23

    If you want to move, then I say GET CRACKING!!!

  • MJ
    February 02, 2012 - 09:13

    The Unfortunate Truth What is wrong with you people? I paid a fortune in campaign and personal contributions to get these people to run and to sucker you middle and lower class into voting for these guys. And now it is my turn to get my investment back and then some, via your tax dollars. So I can get even richer and you can remain even poorer. In case no one told you that is, the way it works in this great country of ours. You all may think you have a say in this country with who you vote for, but I pay all the players and I don’t care who you vote for, I will always get my investment back and then some. So please remain quiet and just pay your taxes like you are told. Don’t worry though my buddies in the government will throw you a what looks like a bone every now and then just to keep you quite, however when you are not paying attention, they will take it back and give it to me, LOL!!!! Sincerely, Big Business

    • Patriotic
      February 02, 2012 - 09:26

      God Bless AMERICA!!!!

    • JW
      February 02, 2012 - 10:20

      you sir are the definition of a greedy, bottom feeder AO

  • JW
    February 02, 2012 - 08:56

    how about moving anyhow - see ya!

    February 02, 2012 - 07:51

    Even though I am making record profits with my Canadian operations, Canada must give tax breaks to corporations to keep us here. If they do not, we will leave and go somewhere else. The 'right to work' states in the USA are giving huge tax breaks, grants, subsidies and even tax holidays to corporations that create new american jobs. Essentially, the americans are trying to buy the jobs of Canadians, and as an owner of a canadian company, I am happy to sell the jobs and line my pockets. I have relcoated 100's of my jobs to these states over the past few years and made lots of money. Canada has to compete and part of competing is creating an environment of optimal profits. No matter how much I make here, moving to the USA is an option to make more money. In the industry that I am in, there is nothing that the Canadians do that the American cannot do to....but because of tax breaks, I stay in Canada now, for certain parts of my business. There are certain jobs that I will not send to the USA (like MY job), but if tax cuts are stopped and they reduce my profits, I will have to move jobs to the USA to recoup that money.

    • BR
      February 02, 2012 - 08:23

      It would be interesting to know the name of your company. You sound like a greedy, greedy person.