Photo: The Alberta Legislature, Queen E86/flickr
RELEASE: UCP budget cuts pay out to foreign-owned corporations, not ordinary Albertans
For Immediate Release – October 24, 2019
OTTAWA- Public service cuts expected in today’s United Conservative Party’s budget will be used to bolster profits for large foreign-owned corporations and do little to create jobs and investments in the province.
“Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is giving large profitable corporations billions in tax cuts and now ordinary Albertans will pay for those unnecessary tax breaks with cuts to public services,” said Toby Sanger, executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness.
The corporate tax cut will cost the Alberta government $1.7 billion every year – the equivalent of $1,000 per household. Most businesses in Alberta, which are small and have annual profits below $500,000, won’t benefit at all and there’s little evidence that tax cuts create jobs in the first place.
The biggest beneficiaries of Kenney’s big business tax cut will be foreign corporations and shareholders, as many of Alberta’s most profitable large corporations are majority foreign owned. More than 80% have a majority of foreign owners among their top five shareholders.
For example, Husky Energy, which just laid off hundreds of workers in Calgary, is 91% foreign-owned (including 70% by the Li family through holding companies in the tax haven of Luxembourg) and Imperial Oil, is 89% foreign-owned, including 70% by Texas-based ExxonMobil.
“It’s clear the Kenney’s Big Business Tax Cut isn’t working, except to pour money into the pockets of wealthy foreign shareholders—and it’s really disturbing that ordinary Albertans will pay the price with cuts to public services, jobs and wages,” Sanger said.
These austerity measures risk making a bad situation worse. A better approach to create jobs and strengthen the economy is investing in public services and infrastructure. The stimulative impact of public spending is much higher than tax cuts. “Far more jobs will be lost than created under the UCP’s plan.”
Canadians for Tax Fairness advocates for fair and progressive tax policies aimed at building a strong and sustainable economy, reducing inequalities and funding quality public services.