May 27, 2020
Green Party MLA Kevin Arseneau Tables Motion to Ban Financial Assistance to Companies Known to Use Tax Havens
Fredericton – MLA for Kent-North, Kevin Arseneau, tabled a motion calling on government to ban financial assistance to any companies that are known to use tax havens and implement a publicly-accessible beneficial ownership registry by the end of the year. Similar measures have recently been adopted across party lines in Scotland, Wales, Denmark and France, thereby blocking companies based in tax havens from receiving coronavirus relief funding.
“New Brunswick is a province that has a lot of wealth, enough wealth to pay for our needs, but that wealth is being funnelled out of the province by large corporations using tax havens. We need to ensure that everyone is paying their fair share,” says Arseneau. “Most of the legislation regarding taxation is federal and that is harder for us to change, one thing we can do here in NB is refuse to give any additional financial assistance to companies that shield their income in offshore accounts.”
For Arseneau and the Greens, the ban to financial assistance would include property tax breaks, wage subsidies, business development funds or any other source of government revenue or tax breaks.
In addition, the beneficial ownership registry that government was supposedly looking into in December 2019, should be implemented by the end of 2020.
“Such a registry means that all companies will have to have named owners to be registered for business in New Brunswick, no more numbered companies that have vague ownership,” says Arseneau. “This transparency is important to help identify companies that are not paying their fair share of taxes.”
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