MP questions Prime Minister’s math on LNG industry tax breaks

Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is questioning the math behind the recently announced federal tax breaks for the LNG industry.

Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen is questioning the math behind the recently announced federal tax breaks for the liquefied natural gas industry and is waiting until the full details emerge before taking a position.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in making the announcement on Feb. 19, estimated the value of the breaks to be approximately $50 million over five years beginning this year, but Cullen said he doubts that is the case.

“We’re looking over the numbers to see if it is $50 million. It is hard to believe that it will only be $50 million given the number and scope of the projects proposed … am I in favour of this? I don’t know yet. I want to find out if this is just more money being given away or if this really will help the industry,” he said, adding he has asked the Library of Parliament to investigate further.

“This goes against the Conservative’s own policy of no longer subsidizing the oil and gas sector.

As well as questioning the numbers, Cullen said he is not sure how important this latest initiative truly is to the industry.

“I have talked to virtually every proponent and very few raised this issue, but of course companies are going to take money if it is offered to them,” he said.

“These companies are looking to spend billions of dollars on the these projects, so $50 million over several years is not going to make or break the project.”