It’s 21 weeks before the BC provincial election and the government’s hired guns are working overtime, adding to the pile of IOU’s Liberals expect to settle by further payments of public assets. RossK, The Gazeteer, knows the inevitable result; the one not talked about in the media echo chamber:
“In fact, now that the debts are starting to come due it is becoming increasingly clear that things will very likely get much worse for we who will be forced to pay the massive bill (see BC Hydro and its commitments, in the tens of billions, to the cronies’ and henchmans’ gargantuan IPP guarantees, for example).”
It’s a script followed across the western world. With hands deep in the treasure chests of government-supplied benefits, the real takers complain about our aims for a clean world and a just society or when truly needy people hold out hands for a small share of the nation’s wealth.
The echo chamber asks where advocates would find money for social programs but they mean the question to be a rhetorical one, attached to the conclusion that there is no money to be found. The cupboards are bare. Yet, how often have media analysts asked why government revenues from natural resources are declining while production and prices escalate?
The numbers to remember, lifted from annual reports of public accounts, are these:
BC Government revenue from natural resources:
- 2001 = $3,975,000,000
- 2012 = $2,699,000,000
In addition to taking less revenue in the form of fees and royalties, government earns less from big business through consumption and corporate income taxes. Today’s multinationals simply don’t regard taxes as a moral responsibility.
In Britain, controversy rages around companies like Starbucks, Amazon and Google that pay little or no incomes tax.
Despite sales of more than £1 billion in the last three years, Starbucks paid zero UK corporation tax. It paid just £8.6 million on over £3 billion in sales since launching in 1998.
Amazon reports European sales through a Luxembourg-based unit and pays less than half the average corporate income tax rate in its major markets.
While enjoying a profit margin of 33%, Google’s main UK unit had a tax charge of about 1.5% of sales. It avoids tax by routing revenues to offshore tax shelters.
Anyone wonder about the situation in Canada? Good luck in finding the information; it’s largely unavailable.