OTTAWA – New Democrat National Revenue Critic, Carol Hughes (Algoma—Manitoulin—Kapuskasing), rose in the House of Commons today calling on Stephen Harper to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to getting tough on tax evasion.

“Billions of dollars are sent offshore to sunny Caribbean locales to hide under beach blankets and avoid Canadian taxes,” said Hughes in question period. “This government’s solution? Reduce the number of investigators at CRA who are looking for tax cheats. It just doesn’t make sense.”

Hughes was reacting to news that the Government plans to cut the number of people at the Canada Revenue Agency who are responsible for investigating tax cheating. The plan would mean 200 fewer jobs over the next 3 years. These cuts are being proposed despite Statistics Canada recently reporting that there is an estimated $88 Billion hidden by Canadians in tax havens around the world.

Noting that the tax revenue from the hidden funds could be invested in things like pensions and affordable drug care, Hughes questioned the wisdom of cutting jobs at CRA at a time when it appears investigators are most needed.

“How can the government justify cutting jobs at Canada Revenue Agency?” Said Hughes, “Why are they making law-abiding tax-paying Canadians foot the bill for these tax cheats?”