Canadian banks into tax havens

Qu’est-ce que Harper fait contre l’évasion fiscale ? RIEN

Car, il ne faut pas déplaire à ses amis de Bay Street et leurs clients respectifs, on ne sait jamais, ‘je risque de perdre mes prochaines élections, si je ne les aide pas’.

Canadian direct investment abroad concentrated in financial-management industries

Référence : Statistique Canada

Je me demande pourquoi le carré bleu est si épais ?, hum…

Après on se demande pourquoi la Droite perd toute crédibilité avec de telle niaiserie.

Extrait de : Canadian Bank use of Tax Havens Keeps Growing, Adam Kingsmith, The Trawler

According to the Toby Sanger of the Progressive Economics Forum, growing shares of Canada’s overseas investments are being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens. The latest Statistics Canada figures show that last fiscal year, 24 per cent of Canadian direct investment overseas went to the top 12 tax havens. In fact, tax havens Barbados, Ireland, the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and Bermuda made up 5 of the top 8 national destinations of Canadian investment abroad.

“To put this in perspective” Sanger notes, “over $390 billion of Canadian ‘investment’ has flowed into Barbados in the past decade, with precious little coming back”. That’s $1.4 million for every resident of the island, however you can be sure that very little of this money is actually seen by any of the people there. Moreover, while the finance and insurance sectors now account for over 51 per cent of Canada’s total direct investment overseas, the Harper government continues to laud these ventures, claiming that looser foreign investment rules are beneficial for our national industries.

Yet actual fiscal figures seem to discredit Harper’s appraisal of such investment practices. As Sanger explains, “a large and growing share of this money isn’t going into real capital investments that could ultimately benefit people overseas or in Canada; its going into tax avoidance that benefits a wealthy few at the expense of a large majority in Canada and around the world.”

To put the Canadian case in context, last month James Henry – former chief economist of McKinsey & Co, the top corporate consulting firm in the world – released a report titled“The Price of Offshore Revisited”, which estimated that $21 to $32 trillion is held in tax havens worldwide, amounting to an estimated $190 to $280 billion in lost income tax revenues annually. This is more than “twice the amount all OECD countries spend on international develop assistance worldwide”.

Unfortunately, as Sanger is at pains to point out, there is little evidence that our political leaders are willing to do much about this as the problem grows. According to Alain Deneault – Canadian author of “Offshore: Tax Havens and the Rule of Global Crime” – the government “always go[es] after the small people in taxes”. Meanwhile, high profile politicians such as former Finance Minister Michael Wilson – currently chairing Canadian operations of international banks UBS and Barclay’s, both of whom do much business in tax havens – is able to refuse to appear before commons committees to testify on the issue.

Clearly the global use of tax havens continues to exacerbate the growing inequalities of income and wealth, what is troubling is the Harper Administration’s seeming compliancy with the rise of such banking practices in Canada. As Quebec economists Leo-Paul Lauzon and Marc Hasbani showed when they examined annual reports of Canada’s big five banks, our public finance industry is increasingly complicit in using tax havens to annually avoid billions in taxes. And with the losses adding up, one can only hope that when the House of Commons Finance Committee reexamines the issue of corporate tax evasion come autumn, they find the will find some way to clot the private hemorrhaging of public capital.