Question in the House - Tax Hikes in Budget 2013

Canada Revenue Agency
Oral Questions

Murray Rankin Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, instead of admitting the truth, Conservatives are yet again making things up to attack the NDP.

The people, for example, who make and sell iPods agree that they are raising taxes on many items, including iPods. The Conservatives are simply making life more expensive for Canadians and are refusing to admit it. No one is being fooled by the Conservative talking points.

While families pay more, wealthy investors using tax shelters are getting away with not paying their fair share. Why is the minister cutting the Canada Revenue Agency's enforcement branch?

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, that is not true. We are not cutting the enforcement branch whatsoever. We are keeping tax rates low by closing tax loopholes and making the tax system fairer for Canadians. We have introduced over 75 measures to improve the integrity of our tax system. Shamefully, the NDP has voted against every single attempt by our government to close tax loopholes since 2006.

Murray Rankin Victoria, BC

Mr. Speaker, while families are being squeezed, the Conservatives are making life more expensive for Canadians and are simply refusing to admit it.

The Conservatives, for example, are relying on billionaires to report their income in tax shelters and are pretending that this is a serious policy. Self-policing by tax cheats is no way to run a G8 economy.

The minister should be investing in enforcement, not cutting it, as she is. When will the minister agree to act and accept the practical measures the NDP has been proposing so we can crack down on tax cheats?

Gail Shea Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Mr. Speaker, we have long recognized this issue and we have consistently taken measures to address it.

Since we came to government, we have increased the size of the international audit program by roughly 40%, and we have identified over $4.5 billion in unpaid taxes. Closing tax loopholes and keeping the tax system fair keeps our tax rates low.

Not only does the NDP vote against all of our attempts to close tax loopholes, but it proposes to increase taxes on Canadians by $56 billion.