TORONTO, April 15, 2019 /CNW/ - The UBC met with the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance and Deb Schulte, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue on Monday, April 15th, which has been designated as the UBC's Day of Action in Canada and the United States to combat tax fraud and the impacts of the underground economy (#TFDOA). The UBC is pleased with its meeting with Minister Morneau and Parliamentary Secretary Schulte to discuss tax fraud and the underground economy in the Canadian construction industry, and ways to work together on this issue.
The crisis has reached epidemic levels. The underground economic activity in Canada totaled $51.6 billion in 2016, or 2.5 percent of the gross domestic product, according to Statistics Canada. The underground economy increased 3.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, higher than the 2.0 percent growth in total GDP. Residential construction is the top contributor to the underground economy, as it amounts to more than a quarter of the total (26.6 percent) or $13.7 billion.
"The taxpayers of Canada are getting a raw deal," said UBC Vice President, Jason Rowe "Tax fraud in the construction industry has gone on for too long. In our own communities, it hurts legitimate contractors, workers and their families. But just as important, we can't improve infrastructure or build better schools if our hard-earned tax dollars are drained away because of corrupt practices. It's a basic question of fairness."
The fraud comes when workers are paid off the books by subcontractors and labour brokers, who are hired by contractors to underbid law-abiding businesses. Fraud happens on all types of projects, including taxpayer-funded projects—which means we all lose. Rampant cheating in the construction industry makes it difficult to repair roads, bridges and schools, care for veterans and shore up our health care and Canada Pension Plan.
"We were very encouraged today to have met with Minister Morneau and Parliamentary Secretary Schulte who clearly understand the seriousness of this issue for Canadians. The UBC has committed to work in partnership with Minister Morneau and his officials on solutions that work. Working together to deal with this issue will help all of us by putting billions of legitimate tax dollars back in the public treasury," said Rowe.
The Day of Action against Tax Fraud is going on in all regions of Canada and the United States by the UBC to bring awareness to the issues of tax fraud and the underground economy. More details can be found at www.stoptaxfraud.net and #StandingUpToTaxFraud
SOURCE United Brotherhood of Carpenters
For further information: Robert Dornan, United Brotherhood of Carpenters, (709) 690-5478, [email protected]