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Harper vows to extend tax break for manufacturers

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Laureen Harper step off the campaign bus as they stop in Brampton, Ont., on March 30, 2011.

Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Stephen Harper is promising to extend a tax break that allows manufacturers to write off investments faster on machinery and equipment.

For the second day in a row, the Conservative Leader is taking a page from the now-defunct 2011 budget that was shelved after opposition parties defeated the Tories on March 25.

So Mr. Harper's budget has become his election platform and today, the Conservative Leader visited a Brampton, Ont., factory to showcase support for the manufacturers that was in that fiscal plan.

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An "accelerated capital cost allowance" rate for manufacturers has been in place for several years but is set to expire at the end of 2011.

Mr. Harper is promising to extend the break for two more years, a move that would save businesses $65-million in 2012-13, rising to $275-million in 2014-2015. In total it would save manufacturers $620-million over four years ending in 2015-16.

The break allows businesses to speed up how fast they write off investments - when calculating taxes owed. "[It has]helped businesses to write off critical new investments four times faster than was previously allowed," the Tories said.

"If you want people to invest, you need to make it easy for them," Mr. Harper said.

He made the announcement at Hydroform Solutions in Brampton, a company that makes moulds for auto parts as well as parts.

"Lowering taxes on investments will create and protect jobs for Canadians."

Mr. Harper is in Brampton as the Tories gun for seats in the Greater Toronto Area they hope to wrest from the Liberals.

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The Conservatives have made a concerted effort in the last few years to court the votes of immigrant Canadians.

If the Tories are really succeeding in attracting more support from new Canadians, the results will be evident in ridings close to Mr. Harper's Wednesday campaign stop.

These include Bramalea-Gore-Malton, held by incumbent Liberal Gurbax Malhi, Brampton-Springdale held by Liberal Ruby Dhalla and Brampton West, last won by Liberal Andrew Kania.

The Tories are also making a bid for Mississauga East-Cooksville where Liberal incumbent Albina Guarnieri has announced she's not running again.

According to Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, an industry association, the accelerated capital cost allowance boosted investment by more than 11 per cent between in the last few years.

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About the Author
Parliamentary reporter

Steven Chase has covered federal politics in Ottawa for The Globe since mid-2001, arriving there a few months before 9/11. He previously worked in the paper's Vancouver and Calgary bureaus. Prior to that, he reported on Alberta politics for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun, and on national issues for Alberta Report. More

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