Jim Flaherty, Canada’s minister of finance, may well be exasperated. Speaking of the federal government’s plan for a national corporate tax of 25 per cent, the Minister affirmed that ‘we believe lower taxes create investment and jobs. I continue to encourage our provincial partners to follow our lead.’ Unfortunately, his counterparts remain to be convinced, with British Columbia and Ontario signalling their intentions to halt the downward trend.
How times have changed! ‘On New Year’s Day,’ reported Neil Reynolds, ‘Canada’s corporate tax rate — federal and provincial rates combined — fell to 25 per cent, giving Canada the lowest rate in the Group of Seven countries, and a more competitive economy on a global basis.’ (According to the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom, Canada’s federal rate of 15 per cent compares favourably with the United Kingdom’s 26 per cent.)
Flaherty could remind officials in the provincial treasuries of the global consequences of their actions, citing an economic truism published in The Wealth of Nations two-centuries-and-a-half ago.