Toronto, Ontario – The federal government’s support for the auto industry isn’t “remotely close to Ottawa’s fiscal take from the industry,” according to Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) economist Jim Stanford in a recent budget analysis.

Stanford said Conservative budget claims of a cumulative total of $1.6 billion in total help for the auto industry, up to the fiscal year 2012-13, is not correct. The value of tax cuts for companies that aren’t making any profits these days is zero and the government is counting $400 million for a new bridge in Windsor, Ontario that isn’t being built yet.

“So as thousands of auto jobs continue to disappear, the government trumpets the value of income tax cuts for companies which have no income, and the cost of roads for a bridge that isn’t being built,” Stanford said.

The CAW said that Ottawa collects about $1.5 billion per year in income taxes from Canadian autoworkers alone, not including taxes from those in spinoff jobs. Stanford said that by using the same economic analysis techniques the government uses in the budget, a total of $12 billion or more will be collected in taxes from auto workers from the time of Harper’s election until 2012-13. “The government continues to milk the auto sector for whatever it’s worth, without paying serious attention to the need to sustain this incredibly important part of our industrial fabric,” Stanford said.

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