Singh bans ‘loop­holes’

StarMetro Calgary - - CANADA - Alex Ballingall OTTAWA BU­REAU

OTTAWA—With the Toronto Stock Ex­change as his back­drop, NDP Leader Jag­meet Singh will trum­pet a suite of pro­pos­als Fri­day to crack down on tax dodgers and stop the rich from hid­ing their money.

In an in­ter­view with the Star, Singh said an NDP gov­ern­ment would do what the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment hasn’t: ban the controversial “bearer shares” sin­gled out in the mas­sive Panama Pa­pers leak as a way to hide stock own­er­ship and ob­scure the move­ment of wealth.

Singh also un­der­scored his com­mit­ment to close the stock op­tion “loop­hole,” which al­lows cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives to avoid in­come taxes by re­ceiv­ing por­tions of their com­pen­sa­tion in com­pany shares in­stead of through their reg­u­lar pay­cheques. The NDP is also pro­mot­ing a bill in Par­lia­ment that strives to pre­vent com­pa­nies from trans­fer­ring money to other coun­tries to avoid pay­ing cor­po­rate taxes in Canada.

“Why is it that the ul­tra wealthy and the rich have ac­cess all these loop­holes that mean they’re not ac­tu­ally pay­ing their fair share? That’s a prob­lem,” Singh said.

“Lib­er­als maybe don’t have the con­vic­tion to fol­low through on these ideas be­cause they might up­set their friends,” he added, sug­gest­ing the Trudeau gov­ern­ment is “too closely aligned with those folks who are the elite” to take ac­tion after three years in power.

“It’s def­i­nitely past due that we do some­thing about it,” he said.

Singh’s pro­posal to ban bearer shares comes after years of in­ter­na­tional pres­sure to re­strict their use as a shad­owy in­stru­ment of global fi­nance. Bearer shares are anony­mous cer­tifi­cates of own­er­ship who­ever holds the phys­i­cal cer­tifi­cate owns the stock or share of a com­pany it rep­re­sents.

More on Singh’s an­nounce­ment at thes­­i­tics

NDP leader calls for ban on ‘bearer shares’ wants wealthy to ‘pay fair share’ of taxes

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