What the Canadian Chamber of Commerce opinion piece doesn't mention is that more corporate tax cuts will make its wealthy members even richer.
Ottawa (10 Oct. 2018) — Even though decades of tax cuts for large corporations and the wealthy have only succeeded in increasing income inequality, large corporations are lobbying the Canadian government for still more cuts to corporate taxes. This time the justification is the tax cuts Donald Trump made in the U.S. — which are widely seen as a massive giveaway to large corporations and the wealthy.
Lobby group for large corporations calling for corporate tax cuts
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of some of the largest corporations in Canada. These include companies using tax havens. Members also include the multinational accounting firms like KPMG that help businesses and the wealthy avoid paying their share of taxes.
A couple of days ago, the president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Perrin Beatty, co-authored an opinion piece calling for corporate taxes to be lowered. As usual, he claimed that cutting corporate tax rates will help the Canadian economy and that we need to promote innovation and growth. What his opinion piece doesn't mention is that more corporate tax cuts will make wealthy members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce even richer.
Corporate taxes cut 9 times since 2000
Since 2000, the federal income tax rate for corporations has dropped from 28 per cent to 15 per cent. Provincial income tax rates for corporations have also been cut. The wealthy have also benefited from generous tax cuts.
But for large corporations, the wealthy and the lobby groups they fund, that still isn’t enough. Now, they are using the tax cuts Donald Trump’s administration made in the U.S. to try to justify yet another round of tax cuts.
Tax cuts helped the rich, not the economy
Tax cuts have been great for large corporations and the wealthy. The cash held by large corporations increased dramatically. As reported by the CBC, we’ve reached the point where 2 Canadian families hold as much wealth as the 11 million poorest Canadians.
Cutting taxes for large corporations and the wealthy failed to strengthen the economy
The justification for tax cuts is that they will allow large corporations and the wealthy to invest more. A 2015 CCPA study showed that isn’t happening. Instead, the study found that since cuts to corporate tax rates began, investment has dropped.
Ironically, the Trump tax cuts that corporate lobbyists want Canada to copy are also failing. Business Insider reported that a February survey of businesses found that the number of businesses planning to invest more dropped after the tax cuts took effect. Instead, as an Americans for Tax Fairness report shows, the tax cuts are just another multi-billion dollar handout to the wealthy.
First step towards tax fairness is saying no to large corporations and the wealthy
A fair tax system is one where what people and businesses is pay is based on what they can afford. By that measure, large corporations and the wealthy already pay less than their fair share in taxes. As a result, low and middle income Canadians are either paying more or doing without the public services they need.
A first step to a fairer tax system is saying no to the latest push by corporations, the wealthy and their lobbyists for yet another cut in their taxes.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE