This should have been an automatic 'gimme' for Dion, and perhaps something tangible and meaningful with which to bash the Prime Minister. Dion's at the blue line ... he winds up ... takes his shot ... ooooh, just wide of goal and into the stands. Face-off just outside the blue line.
Terence Corcoran, dismissing the Liberals' income trust announcement as a 'dud', remarks:
On top of the Green Shift and other environmental commitments, of which there are dozens, no rock is left unturned, no special interest ignored, even causes that are contradictory. On page 60: "The Liberal Party ... is committed to free trade." But on page 17, it says "we will defend supply management in negotiations at the World Trade Organization."
So, Mr. Corcoran, what are they actually proposing?
The Liberals say they will scrap the Conservative tax in distributions from income trusts, scheduled to begin at 31.5% in 2011. Before then, current trust distributions are tax-free under the Tory budget plans. Under the Liberal plan, those current trust distributions would be taxed immediately at 10%, raising an extra $1-billion for Ottawa over the next four years, collected from foreign owners of trusts.
Come again? Explain it to me like I'm six years old.
So over the short term, income trusts will be subject to more tax under the Liberal plan than under the Tory plan. But this short-term pain, as it were, is supposed to be offset by long-term gain. That supposedly comes when the Liberals bring in the undisclosed second element of their income trust policy, which is to allow trusts to continue to operate after 2011.
You're kidding me, right. Their policy is pay more tax now, and you might pay less later ... we promise ... trust us?!? Sheesh!