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Blank cheque for petrochemical industry unacceptable: Taxpayers Federation

CALGARY, AB: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is slamming the Alberta government for failing to put a cap on the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to sign a blank cheque for the petrochemical industry,” said Franco Terrazzano, the CTF’s Alberta Director. “It’s bad enough that taxpayers are already paying for one bad petrochemical subsidy, but it’s completely unacceptable for Premier Jason Kenney to let another petrochemical subsidy to be rolled out without a cap on taxpayer costs.”

The government news release outlining the APIP acknowledged that “there is no cap to the program.” The APIP is in addition to the current Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which costs taxpayers $1.1 billion.

The CTF obtained a leaked briefing note produced by Treasury Board and Finance officials warning former finance minister Joe Ceci about the risks associated with subsidies for the petrochemical industry, which states: “the proposed incentive program cannot be justified on economic merit alone” and “there is no guarantee that the incentive program will actually lead to additional investment.”

“Kenney deserves credit for lowering the business tax rate so job creators can invest more of their own money into their business, but the government is taking a wrong turn by adding another petrochemical corporate welfare program on to the backs of struggling taxpayers,” said Terrazzano.

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