Review of Tax ExpendituresPublished on 29 September 2016 Hansard and Statements by Senator Joseph Day
Hon. Joseph A. Day (Leader of the Senate Liberals):
My question is for the Government Representative in the Senate. Later this day, we will be dealing with some important tax measures in Bill C-2. There’s another area of tax and fiscal policy relating to tax expenditures. My question will go to that aspect of tax policy.
The Liberal election platform for the 2015 federal election contained the following promise:
We will conduct a review of all tax expenditures to target tax loopholes that particularly benefit Canada’s top one percent.
In the mandate letter to the Minister of Finance released to the public on November 13, 2015, Minister Morneau was directed to do the following:
Work with the President of the Treasury Board and your Ministerial colleagues to conduct a review of tax expenditures —
— again with the term “tax expenditures”—
— and other spending to reduce poorly targeted and inefficient measures, wasteful spending, and government initiatives that are ineffective or have outlived their purpose.
I was very pleased by what appeared to be plans for a wide- ranging review of our taxation system. This impression was reinforced, Mr. Leader, on March 22 of this year, when the government announced the following in the budget:
Individuals and businesses have expressed concerns related to the efficiency and fairness of the tax system, and how the increasing number of tax expenditures has made the federal tax system more complex. In the coming year, the Government will undertake a review of the tax system to determine whether it works well for Canadians, with a view to eliminating poorly targeted and inefficient tax measures.
Although a comprehensive review of the tax system has not yet been announced, on June 17, the government did announce it was undertaking a comprehensive review of federal tax expenditures. That’s where my question relates. Seven external experts have been engaged to provide advice to the federal Department of Finance and officials.
When are the results of that review of tax expenditures expected to be complete, and can we in this chamber expect to receive a copy of that report?