Monday, June 16, 2008

Dion plan would see auditor general monitor impact of carbon tax

OTTAWA — Stephane Dion will deploy Canada's auditor general to backstop his claim that a Liberal carbon tax will be revenue neutral, not the massive tax grab depicted by the Tories.

Revenue neutrality is the central pillar of the Liberal leader's complex plan, to be unveiled later this week, for putting a price on carbon.

Under the plan, the federal treasury would not keep a dime of the roughly $14 billion in revenue the proposed carbon tax would generate. Rather, the money would be shifted back to consumers in the form of offsetting cuts to personal income and corporate taxes.

But Dion is not going to ask Canadians to simply trust him on that.

The plan includes a promise of legislation that would require the independent auditor general to review the tax shift annually and to verify publicly whether it is living up to its advance billing as revenue neutral.

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