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Deputy ministers, economists say don’t worry about home renovation tax credit

It’s rumoured that the Conservative government is going to try to blame the Liberals for killing the Home Renovation Tax Credit in tabling an immediate Ways and Means Motion on the return of Parliament if the government falls on this vote, being as it’s considered to be a vote of confidence or non-confidence with the government (as Jeff mentions over at his blogpost and in his NP blog column).

You know, the same tax credit that the government has been pushing in its TV advertising campaign as a done deal, but which strangely, they’ve neglected in over 5 months to bother trying to get a motion for it formally passed until now. Convenient for them, eh?

The Liberals have been refuting this, and they should continue to do so ad nauseam while the Harperites try to pass this nonsense around. From their latest press release:

Canadians are in no danger of losing this tax credit and should continue to use it. They will get the money they’re owed-period. Liberals have expressed their unequivocal support for this tax credit and no matter what, a Liberal government will pass legislation to implement the credit before tax time next year, in March 2010. Because this tax credit is part of the budget plan already passed in Parliament, the Canada Revenue Agency can operate as if the implementation details have already been passed.

Funny thing is, economists and even one of Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s deputy ministers say that’s a bunch of baloney:

Mr. Flaherty’s own Associate Deputy Minister has said:

“Even if for some reason there were not a legislative follow-up in the current Parliament for the home renovation tax credit, it would still be open to a subsequent Parliament, a subsequent government, to ratify the effect of the provision by passing the legislation.” (Stephen Richardson, Associate Deputy Minister, Government Operations Committee, February 10, 2009)

Toronto Dominion Bank Chief Economic Don Drummond, a former federal Finance Department official, also said that as long as the implementation details are ultimately approved by Parliament before the 2010 tax filing season, the credit would not be affected.
(Globe and Mail, Sept. 2, 2009)

Very effective counter-messaging; It’s just up to the Liberals to ensure they keep pushing that out there to the media and public aggressively.

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10 comments to Deputy ministers, economists say don’t worry about home renovation tax credit

  • Jay

    I’m not sure if the huge number of people who lost jobs cares much about their tax dollars, paid prior to losing their jobs, being used to landscape or put a pool on some well off person property. I am also sure more people lost their jobs than are using this credit. So from the conservatives point of view this isn’t a winning strategy.

    Those would vote for Harper just to get a tax rebate should feel ashamed of themselves. Is that all this country is to them?

  • If I were Iggy, I’d send the message “we support the tax credit; further, we’d actually do the work to make it happen.”

  • Buckets

    Why not vote to emend the bill from “we pass the tax credit” to “we pass the tax credit and have no confidence in the Harper government”. The motion to emend passes, then the Conservatives have to vote against the emended version.

  • Joseph

    yeah, right, kwittet. Instead, they should be cowering in fear and trying to say as little as possible on the matter while Harper tosses out another lie in hopes of saving his skin.

    not gonna happen . . . sorry to disappoint. it would be so much easier if Harper could keep playing that game.

  • Joseph

    Frankly, I would love to see the Liberals launch one of their first ads on this. In it they should express their unequivocal support for the credit while pointedly nailing the conservatives on it, questioning the Harper government’s competence and their reliance on playing political games instead of working for Canadians.

    Move on to real issues immediately after, but use this as the first salvo, firing Harper’s “secret weapon” (ooh, ahh) right back at him.

  • kwittet

    Liberals have expressed their unequivocal support for this tax credit and no matter what, a Liberal government will pass legislation to implement the credit before tax time next year, in March 2010.

    That’s pretty cocky considering there hasn’t even been an election called and IF they get elected if there is one!!

    • Canadiansense

      @kwittet, Some voters might not trust the Liberals to implement the Renovation Credit. We did have a few promises broken or delayed the last time by the Liberals in the 1990’s.

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