Making use of a time-honored tradition in government communications, Canada’s Department of Finance last Friday afternoon released its amended proposal for a tax on luxury goods. Outside of tax season, of course, most people don’t visit government websites on the regular. But burying an official release in the wee hours of the working week makes it even less likely anyone will notice something potentially controversial or embarrassing. In this case, the government’s timing is almost certainly owed to a new provision added to the legislation since its initial drafting last year, which reads as follows: “Relief for aircraft is proposed to be expanded to take into account qualifying flights that are conducted in the course of a business with a reasonable expectation of profit.”
It’s a pretty soporific sequence of words, even with more context. But what it appears to mean is that Canada’s governing Liberal Party plans to amend their proposed tax on new luxury cars and aircraft so that private jets used in the course of business can be written off. Revisit the language in the Liberals’ 2021 budget and the more detailed backgrounder published in August, and the word “profit” does not appear. Some possible exemptions to the tax are mentioned, but they mostly have to do with planes imported for use by hospitals, local governments, or police and fire departments.
In other words: in the roughly seven months since the government published its previous version of the legislation, a major carveout has been added that quite visibly opens the door to all kinds of avoidance by wealthy individuals. According to its Friday release, the amended draft “reflect[s], and respond[s] to, input received during consultations with stakeholders,” which very likely means that the owners of private jets agitated for an exemption.
Why am I not surprised? Why do I feel nothing upon learning that the “far-left” government of Trudeau gives ultra-rich people a tax break for having private jets?
And just so everybody knows, there is little to no actual business reason to have private jets, other than it being nice for rich people. What I mean by that is that sightseeing tours are exclusively the product of prop driven aircraft. Nobody is taking a business jet on a sightseeing tour.
Nor is anyone using anything other than a prop plane, usually piston engined, to do crop dusting.
Workplanes, when owned by civilians or small businesses have props. This is 100% purely a giveaway to the rich and privileged.
It would hardly be the first time Canada’s wealthy have successfully advocated for obscene carveouts in tax policy. In breaking his promise to close a $750 million stock-option loophole used almost exclusively by CEOs and other executives, former finance minister Bill Morneau claimed he’d received input “from many small firms and innovators” to the effect that “they use stock options as a legitimate form of compensation.”
Documents published by PressProgress, however, found that Morneau (himself a wealthy former executive) had been aggressively lobbied by corporate Canada to maintain a loophole used almost exclusively by eight thousand of the country’s wealthiest people.
Bill Morneau had to resign in 2020 following the WE Charity Scandal. That happened before the creation of this website, so I don’t remember that much about it. It’s probably a very good candidate for an article, but basically they pretended that this charity, which Morneau’s daughters worked at, was the only charity capable of doing some bullshit whatever they were interested in doing, so they gave tens of thousands of your taxdollars, probably much more, to them. Morneau was the fall guy for that.
The result, as looks evident here, is often policy with no significant popular buy-in and that no sensible person not being paid to think otherwise could convincingly defend.
The Jacobin are basically just pretending to be against billionaires at this point, and are just doing this to keep their street cred. Even still, it’s a somewhat decent resource for finding out about these retarded grafts.