Transparency needed on Liberal Mining Industry Tax Break

May 20, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald says the Liberals need to provide transparency around a $2.6 million tax break they quietly promised to the mining and quarry industry on May 13. MacDonald says she was surprised to learn of the decision given Diana Whalen has repeatedly said there would be no new tax changes until the current review being conducted by Laurel Broten is complete.

“Secretly promising a multi-million dollar tax break without a formal announcement is not the type of transparency the Liberals advertised during the campaign,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald says Diana Whalen owes Nova Scotians an explanation for her decision, particularly students and grads impacted by the elimination of the Graduate Retention Rebate.

“Being the Finance Minister is all about setting priorities and I appreciate those decisions can be difficult,” said MacDonald. “But ultimately, it’s imperative for the Finance Minister to explain why one group of people is receiving a tax break, while another group is receiving a massive tax hike.”

The NDP Leader said it also isn’t fair for the Liberals to be handing out new tax breaks while existing programs like the Film Tax Credit are under review.

“During the election the Liberals promised to expand the Film Tax Credit, and now they are hinting the program could be in jeopardy pending the results of the tax review,” said MacDonald. “For the Liberals to be quietly handing out new tax breaks at this juncture shows their review isn’t nearly as comprehensive as Nova Scotians have been led to believe.”

She added, “This also represents a direct hit on the paving budget. Given the current state of provincial roads, you have to question the timing of this decision.”