OTTAWA – Canada cannot afford to go ahead with the current round of budget-crippling, corporate tax cuts. That is the message Carol Hughes, told the House of Commons yesterday as she spoke to a motion calling for the cuts to be suspended.

The motion, was put forward by the Liberals who, incredibly, voted in favour of the cuts they now want to merely delay. Hughes reminded the Liberals they should have thought about this before they passed the budget that included the scheduled cuts in the first place.

“One might be tempted to wonder, where were the Liberals during last year’s budget debate,” Hughes asked the House. “The answer is simple. The Liberals were praising these exact same corporate tax cuts and using them as justification for supporting the budget.”

New Democrats have always been critical of sweeping tax cuts that do nothing to ensure the money saved is used to create more jobs or lead to greater investment in Canada. Their position has not changed since Paul Martin began to cut the corporate rate when he was Finance Minister in Jean Chretien’s Liberal government 11 years ago.

Hughes noted that the Conservatives are set to spend $6.5 million on advertising to sell Canadians on the idea of the cuts, presumably since the public is waking up to fact that the Conservatives are systematically emptying the cupboard and giving the wealthy a free ride in the process.

She heaped scorn on the government for wasting so much money in a bald-faced attempt to persuade Canadians with their own money.
“People in Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing don’t need to be told what to think,” said Hughes. “They need a place to go to work.”

The next round of cuts will lower the Canadian corporate tax rate to 15%, one of the lowest rates in the industrialized world and well behind that of our closest trading partner, the United States federal rate which is set at 35%. When combined with large deficits after massive stimulus efforts, the cuts have no guarantee to create wealth anywhere in the economy apart from the board-room and among the most privileged in the Canadian business community.