A week ago, the Canadian Taxpayer Federation (CTF) was issuing alarmist press releases across Canada, claiming that taxes and medical premiums were rising dramatically in 2011. In this region, they claimed that BC taxpayers were hurt more than any others in Canada. As stenographic journalists, the uncritical mainstream media merely repeated the reports untested.
Ethical analysts assemble facts and draw conclusions based on objective evidence. The CTF, as demonstrated in the recent case, turns that methodology upside down. They start with the conclusion that all public programs are misguided and all government revenues are inappropriate. Their ‘research’ is aimed at gathering information supporting the conclusions held at the beginning.
CTF uses faulty analysis because they are paid to market a particular point of view. If the CTF was merely concerned about error, waste and inefficiency in the public sector, they would react publicly to remarks of the BC Auditor General that the Liberal government is inaccurately reporting expenditures and debts involving energy sector companies. This is from the AG’s new report:
“. . . oil and natural gas producer’s royalty credits are inappropriately being netted from revenue rather than being reported as expenses. Second, government is not recording liabilities for deep-well credits owed to oil and gas producers.”
The province’s moves are aimed at misleading the public. At a time when nearly every community based social program has been under severe financial pressure, the Liberals were giving millions to wealthy oil and gas producers but didn’t want citizens to be truthfully informed.
If the Canadian Taxpayer Federation was honestly motivated, they would be issuing press releases decrying this economic fraud.
Categories: BC Liberals, Taxation
I have been watchingthis file closely, but missed the latest item you mention to come out of the Auditor General's office. His 2010 report 9 talked about the “goals” of the royalty credit programs, which include “maximizing royalties and taxes”. The Ministry was chastised for not not reporting to external stakeholders(secrecy)and for not having developed “performance measures”. Nothing like a handout program that you don't have to tell the public about and don't have to account for. More liberal math. So anyway the Ministry quickly writes up a phony document called Program Goals and Performance Measures-2010 Report. No measurement of income taxes generated or spin-offs for equipment supply or installation, which are some of the revenue and job losses that the province is experiencing as Albertans are more able to compete with companies that have paid years of PST and other costs. We need a total open project by project penny by penny accounting of these programs along with a job creation for residents analysis to evaluate them. Now with what you have pointed out, maybe we have to serioulsly look at cancelling the credit programs completely. Especially when the gas producers on the recieving end of the credits seem so bent on not hiring any regional labour and equipment if they can possibly avoid it.
This whole thing is a can of worms and I can't agree more that the CTF should be all over this.