moved for leave to introduce Bill C-418, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (deductibility of remuneration).
Mr. Speaker, in my riding of Hamilton Mountain, and indeed right across this country, hard-working families are increasingly recognizing the existence of a prosperity gap. They do not feel that they are benefiting from the economic growth they keep hearing about. They are right. The numbers back them up. Not only is there a growing gap between the rich and the poor, there is also an alarming erosion of economic security for middle class families.
In 2005 Canada's top 100 CEOs were earning 240 times the salary of the average Canadian worker. By 10 a.m. on New Year's Day, the top CEOs have earned more than most Canadians make in a year. A recent poll showed that 82% of Canadians believe that one of the ways to narrow that prosperity gap is to close the tax loopholes that allow wealthy Canadians and corporations to pay less than their fair share of taxes. That is precisely what my bill does.
This legislation will no longer allow companies to write off against their business taxes the salaries of their CEOs and corporate officers in excess of $1 million. This is particularly important in communities like Hamilton, where companies that are seeking CCAA protection from the courts are protecting the multi-million dollar salaries of their key executives through court-supported KERPs while they are exacting wage, pension and benefit concessions from their workers.
I want to thank my colleague, the member for Winnipeg North, for her support. I hope the House will recognize the inherent fairness of this legislation and pass it quickly.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)