Singh bans ‘loopholes’
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 thestar.com/politics
NDP leader calls for ban on ‘bearer shares’ wants wealthy to ‘pay fair share’ of taxes