Just in case there is any confusion, please find below the CTFs media advisory.
- The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) today responded to a news release issued by the Liberal Party of Canada that misrepresents statements made by its federal director John Williamson on the subject of the Conservative proposal to defer capital gains taxes when savings are re-invested. Mr. Williamson is erroneously cited as stating investments will never be taxed.
“We wish the Conservative Party capital gains tax plan meant a $6-billion tax cut and the outright elimination of Canada’s capital gains tax. But it does not,” stated Mr. Williamson. “For the Liberals to suggest I said anything to that affect is absolutely false.”
The Liberal press office issued a news release on Jan. 16th entitled, Conservative Finance Critic Contradicts Platform on Capital Gains. It states the Conservatives “are back-pedalling on their tax cut” because Finance Critic Monte Solberg “said the Conservatives are not planning the ‘elimination’ of the capital gains tax: ‘We’re talking about a deferral.’ Fellow Conservative MP Jason Kenny (sic) also told Don Newman on CBC’s Politics today that the Conservative proposal is only a deferral.”
The governing Liberals attempt to bolster their case by inaccurately referencing Canada’s foremost taxpayer advocacy group. The release continues: “[Kenney] in turn was contradicted by John Williamson, the federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, who said the plan features untaxed inter-generational transfers. ‘With our demographic changes, as assets are passed off from one generation to the next, individuals will have the chance to sell them and re-invest them for their retirement rather than these assets being taxed,’ said Williamson.”
This is only half the story, and just the first half of Mr. Williamson’s quote. Canadian Press journalist Tara Perkins reported on January 13, “But he [Williamson] pointed out that the move only defers the payments of capital gains tax. Those taxes will still be paid at the point when the assets are sold without being reinvested. ‘At some point people need to check out, the need to take out those investments and live off them,’ Williamson said. ‘There's nothing here that will help individuals who are checking out.’” This significant qualifying remark appeared nowhere in the Liberal news release.
Williamson concluded today: “Notwithstanding the Liberal spin, the bottom line is the capital gains deferral is the most pro-growth tax policy to emerge in this campaign. It will encourage Canadians to save more, expand Canada’s capital markets and improve the nation’s productivity. But Ottawa still needs to bring down marginal tax rates. Whichever party forms government on January 23rd, the CTF will continue to press for lower rates so Canadians are taxed less on their income and retirement savings.”