OTTAWA - PRIME Minister Paul Martin denied he's turning his back on Canadian business and defended his so-called "deathbed deal" as a move to fast-track Liberal priorities. Facing a storm of criticism from all sides, Martin told the Sun yesterday he attached a big string to the $4.6-billion NDP spending pact: That it will come only if there's a surplus.
While tax relief for small and mid-sized business will remain in the budget, the PM put the fate of tax breaks for big business squarely on the Conservative Party's shoulders.
"What we simply said is that the tax cuts for larger corporations would be voted on a separate track, and we're going to introduce that track," Martin said in an interview.
"And if the Conservatives go with us, then that track will pass."
The corporate tax cuts, slated to kick in by 2008, will be voted on as a separate bill after the budget.
Insisting the NDP's demands for new cash for the environment, housing, education and foreign aid are lifted from the Liberal agenda, Martin insisted the dollars won't flow unless there's a surplus -- and only after a $2-billion debt payment is cleared.