Nathan on corporate tax cuts and the need for economic recovery

Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley)The government’s philosophy speaks to a basic sentiment that we can cut our way to prosperity. As any sound businessperson would tell us, if a corporation is in any kind of trouble, one of the temptations is to cut its way to such a small, lean point that prosperity will return. However, the evidence in the corporate cycle shows us that is not true, that true investment is the way to attain, or re-attain in some cases, wealth generation prosperity.

Mixing politics with economics leads to failure. It has proven to be a failure time and time again. A fair taxation rate requires corporations to pay their fair share.

The other day, I asked a corporate accountant how low a rate he wanted, and he told me zero. I asked him if he felt a duty to share responsibilities, to pay for all the great things we receive as Canadians, like health care and public education. He said he would be happy to leave that privilege to the employees. How generous of the corporate sector, to leave the privilege of paying taxes to the employees. That is wrong.

This way of thinking will do nothing to build this country, to give it a fabric we can be proud of. The way we manage our natural resources makes a difference. We see this in Skeena—Bulkley Valley in the northwest of B.C. We are deindustrializing right now, as we have been doing for the last 10 years. We lost 400,000 manufacturing jobs in the recession. The government claims a certain number of jobs are back. Most of them are not in the industrial sector, and most of them are not in the value-added sector. Most of them are not well-paying jobs that one can raise a family on. These are more temporary jobs, lower-paying jobs without benefits.

That is not a recovery, but the government is going to flash out the number, try to pull the wool over our eyes, and tell us we are just the same as we were before the recession started. We are not. We have fundamentally changed.