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Conservatives Tax Income Trusts

From September 9, 2008

In January 2006, less than two weeks before the election, the Conservatives had much to say on the taxing of income trusts.

Said Conservative finance critic Monte Solberg: "We are supporters of income trusts and we oppose tax measures that would raise taxes on income trusts."

Said the Conservative Party election platform: "A Conservative government will: ... Stop the Liberal attack on retirement savings and preserve income trusts by not imposing any new taxes on them."

Before the year was out the Conservative party had imposed a 34% tax on Income Trusts.

In the end it boils down to three possibilities: The Conservatives intentionally lied about income trusts to get votes in the 2006 election; or, the Conservatives were clueless and only realized too late that the income trusts tax gap had to be closed; or, both.

The reasoning is not actually that important - whether it was a betrayal of investors, or a betrayal of voters - Harper's Conservatives imposed a tax on income trusts after saying that they wouldn't.

It was a broken promise of dishonesty, or it was a broken promise of incompetence. Only Stephen Harper can answer which.