The Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff continues his assault on private enterprise. Not only does he plan to hike the corporate tax rate to 18 per cent from the current 16.5, scooping $5- to $6-billion out of the economy to pay for new social programs, he is now attacking mutual funds and investment advisors by proposing a government administrated “Secure Retirement Option,” which is virtually identical to the currently available Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP).
Other than replacing private enterprise, I cannot see a benefit of this measure. It provides no more tax-free saving room, i.e., tax-deductible contributions would have to the same limit allowed with RRSPs, and employers will have the option of matching employee contributions as they can now do with RRSPs. So what’s different? Where’s the meat?
As far as I can tell, the only real difference is that funds accumulated under the Ignatieff plan would be managed by the government’s CPP Investment Board rather than by the contributor under a self-directed RRSP or by a financial adviser from the private sector.
Apparently, Mr. Ignatieff believes private sector financial advisers can be risky, expensive and complex, so he’s proposes having a crown corporation handle your money for you.
I do wish someone would tell Mr. Ignatieff that, while he was living abroad all those decades, Canada turned away from most of it socialist policies, stopped talking about nationalizing banks, sold Air Canada and all that. We now tend to look to private enterprise for solutions. Maybe the ex-Dippers Bob Rae and Ujjal Dosanjh have got him confused.
Can’t Liberal MP for Markham-Unionville the former economist, John McCallum, help educate his leader on the basics? McCallum, at least, knows that Ignatieff’s plan to raise corporate taxes would cost the Canadian economy jobs. (Link to clip here.) And McCallum was the Royal Bank of Canada’s chief economist for six years, surely he knows banks like his former employer and thousands of independent advisors are quite capable and qualified to manage Canadians’ investments.