Sunday, January 14, 2007 - Editorial - Corporate welfare in the billions - Editorial - Corporate welfare in the billions: "

Sun, January 14, 2007

Corporate welfare in the billions

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation put out a report last week that should curl the hair of any taxpayer who hates government waste.
The CTF has compiled a list of financial assistance paid out by Industry Canada to private companies covering a period from 1982 to 2005.
You may want to sit down for this:
The CTF report notes that between 1982 and 2005, 'Ottawa authorized $18.4 billion in grants and loans to various companies and organizations. Of this, only $7.1 billion is repayable. However, to date, less than $1.3 billion has been repaid to taxpayers.'
The CTF found that almost $10 billion of the $18 billion paid out was basically free money -- grants and contribution that never had to be repaid.

That's scary enough, but the report notes that 'these numbers do not include handouts and loans made through Ottawa's regional development agencies' such as Western Economic Diversification.
So the actual amount of corporate welfare in this country is even higher than $18.4 billion.
The top 50 recipients of cash from Industry Canada comprise a who's who of corporate Canada, and those companies are not only highly profitable, but they account for one-third of all assistance.
Why on Earth major major manufacturers, huge electronics firms, and giant computer companies need money from the government of Canada is beyond us. But it's all there in black and white. (For the full details, see the CTF's website:
In the report, the CTF correctly identifies why corporate welfare is bad policy: market decisions end up being made by bureaucrats and politicians, not investors; the decision"

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