Sunshine Motion: Requiring Government To Report Tax Expenditures
Last year, David tabled a Bill that would allow people to see how their government is influenced by requiring the government to report any contracts it has entered that exceeds $10,000. This Bill was called An Act to Amend the Procurement Act. These contract reports would lead to more government transparency and transparency is an important part of government legitimacy.
People need to be able to see how their government is doing, what they are doing and how they are influenced by various interests. Legislation that seeks to cast light on the hidden recesses of government is broadly termed Sunshine Legislation.
This session, David introduced a motion on 8 November 2016 that would require government to report their tax expenditures. This includes revenue foregone because of government tax rebates and tax credits. Reporting these expenditures would give people access to more complete information on the financial state of our province. This is deemed a best practice by many international organizations and other governments in Canada, including the federal government. New Brunswick should join its peers in reporting government tax expenditures.
You can see the full text of the motion here:
WHEREAS the government tables each year its Main Estimates and its public accounts of government expenses and revenues;
WHEREAS revenues foregone through tax expenditures including tax credits and tax exemptions are not currently included in the expenses of the government’s Main Estimates;
WHEREAS international organizations including the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development promote public sector accounting standards that require governments to report tax expenditures;
WHEREAS other jurisdictions within Canada, including British Colombia and the Government of Canada report tax expenditures annually;
WHEREAS it is the responsibility of government to be accountable to the people it represents;
BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Legislative Assembly urge the government to include in its main estimates the total revenue foregone as a result of tax expenditures each fiscal year, beginning with 2017/2018.