PBO report shows government misled taxpayers on corporate welfare

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2023/09/12

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on politicians to reject recent EV battery corporate welfare following today’s Parliamentary Budget Officer report showing governments won’t break even for 20 years – four times longer than originally promised.

“Politicians said they’d get the money back in five years, but the PBO report is clear: it’ll be 20 years before we see if these deals even break even,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “But the government has a terrible track record on corporate welfare so taxpayers should be worried about whether they’ll ever see a real return on investment.”

The federal and Ontario governments announced subsidies for multinational automakers Volkswagen and Stellantis costing taxpayers $28 billion. 

When announcing the Volkswagen deal, the federal government claimed, “projections show that the full economic impact of the project will be equal to the value of government investment in less than five years.” 

But today’s PBO report shows it will take far longer for governments to receive enough revenue to offset the subsidies. 

“The break-even timeline for the $28.2 billion in production subsidies announced for Stellantis-LGES and Volkswagen is estimated to be 20 years, significantly longer than the government’s estimate of a payback within five years for Volkswagen,” the PBO said.

“In reality, governments will get this money back somewhere between 20 years from now and never,” said Jay Goldberg, CTF Ontario Director. “The PBO report is proof taxpayers shouldn’t trust politicians when they promise the moon with their corporate welfare deals.”

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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