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About that tax credit


 

An economist suggests there’s not much to worry about.

Toronto Dominion Bank chief economist Don Drummond, a former federal Finance Department official, said an election would create some “uncomfortable” uncertainty regarding the program. However, he says as long as the measure is ultimately approved by Parliament before the 2010 tax filing season, the credit would not be affected.

“If I was the Commissioner [of the Canada Revenue Agency], I would just stay cool and leave it in limbo,” Mr. Drummond said. “People won’t be filing until February, March and April of 2010 anyhow. So I’d probably just say ‘Hey, I’m waiting to see what happens before the end of the year.’ ”


 

About that tax credit

  1. nothing like a little blackmail to gussy up a fall.

  2. "However, he says as long as the measure is ultimately approved by Parliament before the 2010 tax filing season, the credit would not be affected."

    So long as the next government does the right thing, there is nothing to worry about. I am sure all those people counting on their tax credits will be filled with confidence the new government won't screw them because governments never, ever do that.

  3. Income trusts come to mind, as one good example.

  4. As I said over on ITQ:

    This is going to look bad on Harper. He was given approval to get this thing going, and he spent millions on advertising it. But when it came down to it, the Harper government were monkeying around with taxpayer money, and they never actually did the leg work to get the thing implemented.

    Now the Liberals are coming out saying that they supported it before, and will continue to do so because, unlike the Conservatives, they won't break faith with the people over this.

    As far as I can see, Harper is the one who looks like a fool here. He can play politics all he wants with taxpayer money, but if the Liberals come and support the tax credit – as they have indicated – the ball is in Harper's court to justify the delays caused by the sheer incompetence of his government, and moreover, to explain his decision to threaten the tax credit that was already promised.

    • Makes Harper look like his government is slower at tabling his legislation than the Senate is at approving it. Indeed, the government is slower and more disorganized than the Senate.

  5. "Income trusts come to mind"

    Me too. What the government gives, it can take away.

  6. But staying on the topic at hand, do we define the Conservative's advertising of the credit, as though it were a done deal, as the right thing? There's a point, past which 'fine print' doesn't excuse fraud.

    I used to hate the way Chretien governments abused government advertising for partisan gain, but this has pushed things to a whole new level.

    • "do we define the Conservative's advertising of the credit, as though it were a done deal, as the right thing?"

      I don't, no. This ties in with one of my pet peeves – that politics has turned into a vast marketing campaign and very little actual governing occurs. Cons want the positives of encouraging people to re-model their homes with tax credits but they can't be bothered to make sure the relevant leg is passed before they start trumpeting their shiny new program.

  7. If the opposition parties are smart, they'll stay silent when the Speaker calls for a voice vote. The government can still demand a recorded division, but they'll look a little silly doing so when the yeas will so clearly have had it. Honestly, in terms of political game-playing, this is starting to look like EFU 2.0: Forget The Party Subsidy, This Time, We're Going To Use Your Tax Rebate as a Hand Grenade!

  8. There is a great opportunity for Harper the strategist to use the Home reno to his advantage.
    Background: During routine governance, Harper comes off as an unlikeable SOB, a totally classless jerk, but then periodically (and especially when the chips are down) he surprises everyone and does a 180 (apology to natives, Doer, Manley…) But Doer didn't stick and is an adendum to the patronage Senate appointments. Harper is currently looking a little classless and no sweatervest is likely to cover that up.
    Suggestion to Harper: Do the W&M thing for the reno tax… but restrict it to the reno tax. i.e. avoid your instinct to add a poison pill for your opponents.
    Outcome: Either the opposition finds a way to pass the bill or they wear it in the election. A promise to support the tax bill would look pretty lame if you just killed it explicitly. My guess is they would pass the bill, and bring the government down the next week. This may sound like a loss for the Conservatives, but it will make it look like it is the opposition that is refusing to cooperate with the government rather than the other way around.
    Why would an acknowledged Liberal supporter give such good advice to Harper? Easy, Harper never takes advice.

    • It's not a bill. It's a motion. The Liberals already passed the bill. Nine months ago. Why has it taken them so long to act on that?

  9. On a related note:

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered a rosy report June 11 on the progress of his government's stimulus spending as he attempted to stave off a summer election, saying 80 per cent of the money earmarked under the plan had been rolled out across the country.

    So either the Conservatives haven't managed to roll out the remaining 20% in the same amount of time they claim to have rolled out the first 80% or they are now lying when they claim an election will delay rolling out infrastructure spending.

  10. This is another trick, just like the EI 5 week benefit extension. Was it in April that they found a loop hole in the budget that would render it null & void if the budget was not passed by a certain time.? This was about that $3 billion Harper wanted and would not say what he wanted it for.
    The Liberals were again held hostage by political games and Harper tried to make them look bad.
    Words are useless (willing to work with the Opposition etc) if they are not followed through.

  11. If the reno tax measure does not receive Royal Assent before the government falls we have a problem. This is because an election in early November as now forecast would mean that the new government would not assume power until late November. This means the new Parliament will not sit until the end of January. That leaves very little time to meet the deadline to meet the 2010 filing season as identified by Drummond.

    • Actually, it leaves two months, which is more than enough time to pass a motion. Remember, it doesn't have to go through the four stages — it's just a simple vote in the House.

    • Just needs one day.

      One must wonder though, if it was that important, why have the Conservatives delayed so long in bringing the motion in the first place?

      And are they saying that the Liberals MUST always support every bill of theirs until they declare the recession truly and for good behind us?

  12. It certainly says something about the motivations of the opposition, doesn't it? They think an election is more important than the tax credit. I wonder if voters feel the same way.

    • Either you aren't paying attention, or you're a Tory hack with poor talking point. Which is it?

      Let's break it down in simple terms:

      1. The tax credit will be unaffected, election or not. The liberals supported the tax credit, and continue to do so.

      2. If the Liberals are in government, they will do whatever it takes to bring the credit back for next year.

      3. This shows how much the Conservatives care about the taxpayers more than anything. They were so disorganized, they forgot to pass the motion when it should have been done; months ago!

      • Garbage, please spare me the personal attacks. It says a lot more about your credibility than it does mine.

        It's simple. If we have an election before we have a tax credit, it means that the opposition deems one more important than it does the other, doesn't it? You didn't address that point. Does that make you a poor Liberal hack?

        As for the so-called delay, we've had a summer recess, and the delay is a small one to get the details right. Yet the opposition is so quick to have an election that who cares about the details, right? In other words, why not first pass the tax credit, then have an election? Why would that be such a horror? Why would an election take precedence?

        OK, keep attacking me personally. I guess it's what you feel you have to do.

        • By that line of reasoning, the opposition parties should always support the government at all times, because legislation and motions are always on the table and stalled or died because of an election. And that is a ridiculous and anti-democratic position to take.

          Also, by that line of reasoning, what Harper did in September 2008 by breaking his promise and choosing to call an election on a whim and then cancelling Parliament altogether in December 2008, is even worse, as he chose to kill his own legislation on crime and many other matters in both cases.

          • No, Lib, by my reasoning the opposition considers an election more important than the tax credit. By definition. If they didn't, they'd pass the tax credit, then have an election.

          • Exactly what I said.

            By your logic, we should never have elections since there is always some tax credit or legislation that dies on the order table when there is an election

            And by your logic, Harper considers an election more important than senate reform or crime legislation since his deliberate choosing to call an election in 2008 killed legislation dealing with both.

          • When Harper called the last election, there was crime legislation on the order paper. Therefore, Harper considered an election more important than crime legislation. Therefore, Harper is soft on crime.

            Do I have your logic correct?

          • Almost. Harper considered an election more important than getting pending crime legislation passed. Yes. Period. Don't really know what's so difficult to grasp about this logic. lol

          • Your logic isn't necessarily flawed, Denis. But you are narrowly setting the parameters of your question in order to assure arriving at a certain conclusion, and by doing so you leave out key relevant facts that, when you consider the question in its totality, lead to a different result.

            The Liberals are deciding that, yes, having an election is more important than passing the tax credit.

            However, that doesn't mean they don't support the tax credit. And it doesn't mean the tax credit will die. As has been said, the next government can and will bring back the tax credit and pass it in plenty of time for tax season. And since people don't file until the spring, that means no one will be impacted by the vote on the credit. Either way, the credit will be there come tax time.

            So, yes, you are correct on your narrow point. But the larger picture is that both parties value the tax credit, and both are committed to ensuring it's there at tax time. There will be some political shenanigans, but at the end of the day that's where we'll be.

          • Your logic isn't necessarily flawed, Dennis, or difficult to grasp. But you are narrowly setting the parameters of your question in order to assure arriving at a certain conclusion, and by doing so you leave out key relevant facts that, when you consider the question in its totality, lead to a different result.

            The Liberals are deciding that, yes, having an election is more important than passing the tax credit.

            However, that doesn't mean they don't support the tax credit. And it doesn't mean the tax credit will die. As has been said, the next government can and will bring back the tax credit and pass it in plenty of time for tax season. And since people don't file until the spring, that means no one will be impacted by the vote on the credit. Either way, the credit will be there come tax time.

            So, yes, you are correct on your narrow point. But the larger picture is that both parties value the tax credit, and both are committed to ensuring it's there at tax time. There will be some political shenanigans, but at the end of the day that's where we'll be.

          • Your logic isn't necessarily flawed, Dennis, or difficult to grasp. But you are narrowly setting the parameters of your question in order to assure arriving at a certain conclusion, and by doing so you leave out key relevant facts that, when you consider the question in its totality, lead to a different result.

            The Liberals are deciding that, yes, having an election is more important than passing the tax credit.

            However, that doesn't mean they don't support the tax credit. And it doesn't mean the tax credit will die. As has been said, the next government can and will bring back the tax credit and pass it in plenty of time for tax season. And since people don't file until the spring, that means no one will be impacted by the vote on the credit. Either way, the credit will be there come tax time.

            So, yes, you are correct on your narrow point. But what does it really matter at the end of the day? The larger picture is that both parties value the tax credit, and both are committed to ensuring it's there at tax time. There will be some political shenanigans, but at the end of the day that's where we'll be.

          • Well, BC, if you think that wanting an election more than a tax credit is a narrow point, then by all means. I'm sure voters think differently, which is precisely why you Liberals are being so obsessive about this. Hey, it's you guys who need to do the explaining, not me.

          • This is a dumb, dumb point. The only important thing: there will be a tax credit come next tax season. Everything else is nonsense.

          • and I guess we have to take Andrew the Dictator's word for it. Yes, let's rush for that election now! Next.

          • The final point of a man who has been proven wrong.

          • In other words, you can't prove me wrong. You can't defend the killing of this tax credit. But I'm here and waiting if you decide to do more than crap on people you can't debate.

  13. Geez, Lib. Yes! When parties decide to have elections, they decide that it's more important than anything that's on the order table. In this case, at least the Liberals seem to think that an election is more important than the tax credit. Next.

    • And my point is, no they don't. Because the credit stays, no matter what.

      • Yes, but Ignatieff believes we need an election before we get a tax credit, right?

        Look, I'm not the one diving in head first in search of an election. Ignatieff is. And, apparently, some of you agree with this. So, the tax credit is less important to you, isn't it. Of course, my guess is that Canadians disagree, which says something about a need for an election, and something about the priorities of the Liberal party.

        I'm not the one justifying a rush to an election. You guys are.

        • "Yes, but Ignatieff believes we need an election before we get a tax credit, right? "

          No. That is what everyone here is trying to say: the election doesn't affect the tax credit. You get the tax credit.

          As for Canadians caring, how many Canadians have the money this year for any kind of renovation? How many are wealthy enough to be working on a large enough project to the maximum credit?

          And how many of those Canadians will actually care about an election once they find out there credit is not in jeopardy? I bet a whole heck of a lot fewer than will be pissed with someone who tried to lie to them that it was in jeopardy in the first place.

        • Wrong again Dennis.

          We get the tax credit regardless of an election.

          What Michael Ignatieff believes is that the Harper government, with support of the Liberals, promised Canadians a tax credit. He is going to make sure they get it, no matter what games Harper decides to play (i.e. burying it a mini-budget with other unacceptable items, etc).

          You have it backwards. Harper is the one who wants Canadians to lose the tax credit, because it's politically expedient.

  14. I should also point out that there were numerous budget provisions that the opposition deemed crucial to pass before having an election in early 2006. If my memory serves me correctly.

    So, maybe Iggy's latest chest-thumping wasn't as well thought out as hoped. I dunno.

  15. The election will NOT affect the tax credit? Will it be in place as of the election? No. So how can it NOT affect the credit? Geez, I realize you guys don't want to come across as power hungy, but man!

    • It's really just that you're making an incredibly stupid point that no sane person should care about.

      • Then bugger off if you don't have anything productive to add. You want this election, and you don't care what others thinks. Thanks. Is that Iggy's attitude, too? I guess.

  16. Who in the world are we trying to kid?

    Look. We either get the tax credit done, or we get an election without the tax credit done. Why can't you people concede that simple point? A promise to get it done is just that.

    • The tax credit will 'get done' either before or after the election, affecting no one.

      • Hey, you say so, so it's GOTTA be true. lol. Next.

        • Please supply a plausible scenario whereby the W&M motion is not passed. Next.

  17. I might also add, now that I think about it, that this home renovation tax credit wasn't greeted too enthusiastically by some critics. If I recall correctly, some wondered who would have the money during a recession to afford these renovations in the first place. Didn't they? So, the enthusiasm for such a policy may be completely passive in nature, which just adds to the notion that killing it now is no guarantee that it'll be revived later. In other words, it's only a slam dunk if it gets passed now – contrary to what some here may have us believe.

    • Except any party that refuses to honour the credit will be crucified. There is no upside to not honouring the credit, as the expense is already booked in a past budget.

  18. Whether or not the tax credit gets approved in time or not is NOT the crucial point.

    If passage is not assured, people will stop new renovations, and the stimulus provision, which WAS the point, won't be stimulating any renovation work during the fall.

    • Passage was never assured, and that was the fault of the CPC. They should have brought in the implementing W&M as soon as possible and preferably before advertising the program on national television, and their failure to do so is indicative of either incompetence or chicanery.

  19. Cause the Liberals have _never_ made pre-election promises about taxes or tax credits and failed to follow up.

    Geez Dennis. Smarten up. Those Liberals were _so_ 1992.

    • Harper never made such promises either, especially about Income Trusts…….

  20. Well I'm glad this has been cleared up. This opens the door for monthly elections. The government changes but the legislation stays the same.

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