Thursday, June 23, 2005

The New Face of Corporate Welfare

Almost a month after the election, Premier Gordon Campbell announced his cabinet. The 23 member executive were sworn in last week, and rookie Carole Taylor managed to score the coveted finance ministry...hmmm....methinks there was a deal here. In any event, the first and only fiscal news out of the legislature in the past month came from Cambpell, not Taylor and it was at a conference in the States not the legislature.

Campbell announced that the poor biotech industry (note the hint of sarcasm here) would be receiving a significant tax credit package because the industry needs a competitive tax environment, huh? Pardon? Well who doesn't need a competitive tax environment? It's another about face for a government that once campaigned against corporate welfare!

Instead of handing out direct subidies, that is, our tax dollars to companies, the crafty politician has noted that using REFUNDABLE tax credits (aka cash from treasury) is less offensive. So meet the new face of corporate welfare...the refundable tax credit!

And watch out, it will be coming from a government near you, just like the race to the bottom with direct subsidies, the race to the bottom with tax credits is well on its way.

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