Flaherty’s Christmas List — all Mixed Up

Following recent dismal reports on rising unemployment, stagnant GDP growth, and a deteriorating economic outlook, we can only hope federal Finance minister Jim Flaherty will provide some Christmas cheer with changes “to better promote job creation and economic growth” (as he’s  asked for advice on through his pre-budget consultations). Unfortunately, Santa Flaherty seems to…
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GDP: Canada Goose Egg

This morning, Statistics Canada reported zero economic growth in October. While growth had been driven by strong mining and fossil-fuel exports during the third quarter, Canadians got a lump of coal in October. This Christmas goose egg should come as a wake-up call to economic policymakers. It follows Labour Force…
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Taxing Capital Gains

The following also appears in The Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab: Earlier this week, Kevin Milligan questioned proposals “to increase the tax on capital gains.” Currently, Canadian income tax applies to only 50 per cent of capital gains. Milligan argues that light personal taxation is justified for income that has…
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Conservative Health Transfers

During the federal election, I noted in a Toronto Star op-ed that the federal Conservative platform entails significant fiscal costs for provincial governments. I accepted the Conservatives’ promise to continue the 6% escalator for the Canada Health Transfer, but worried that they might cut other transfers of similar value. Today,…
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EI Coverage Falls Below 40%

It may be a grim Christmas for thousands of unemployed Canadians. Today’s Employment Insurance figures show that fewer workers received benefits in October, even as more became unemployed and filed EI claims. Specifically, the number of people receiving regular benefits declined from 546,580 in September to 541,230 in October. The…
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