There is a nice little story tucked in to the pages of Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2013. It’s a sweet tale of Thomas and Colleen and their two children. (I like to imagine those little stick-figure stickers on the back of their mini-van waving hello to their friends in happy economic-action-plan-land). This story is called “Canadian families keep more of their hard-earned dollars as a result of the government’s actions to reduce the tax burden.”
Entries Tagged as 'Federal Budget'
One of the most amazing things about this budget is that one of its three focuses is actually the opposite of what it’s touting. You’ll likely hear that $14 billion will be spent on infrastructure over the next 10 years (actually, you may hear much bigger numbers, but they’re just re-announcing existing programs like the gas tax transfer). What you won’t hear is that 75% of that money is going to be spent in or after 2020. In fact, there will be an effective $1 billion cut to infrastructure transfers to the cities in 2014-15.
It’s hard to get excited about Thursday’s federal budget. All signs point to an “austerity” budget, even though that approach has failed so spectacularly wherever it has been tried. Austerity is one of those zombie ideas that cannot be killed, roaming rampantly across the pages and screens of the mainstream media. The 2012 federal budget already took a big step down the path of austerity with major public sector cuts, largely focused on direct federal program spending with cuts around 7% (transfers to provinces and individuals, a large part of the federal budget, have largely been spared). About 19,000 federal public service jobs were cut in the 2012 budget, bringing the total to over 35,000 going back to previous rounds of cuts.
November 13th, 2012 · David Macdonald · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget
The federal government released its annual fall update on the country’s finances today. Despite the upbeat messaging around the “Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections” there are concerning underlying trends with the country and its finances.
For regular Canadians, there is no explosive growth expected in the job market to make up for the crash after the 2008-2009 recession. There has been no revision to the unemployment rate projections for next year which remain at 7.2%, slightly below the current rate of 7.4%.
Today, Statistics Canada reported that 3,400 more Canadians received Employment Insurance (EI) benefits in May. It previously reported that unemployment rose by 8,000 that month. In other words, even more workers are now unemployed without EI benefits.
In total, just 37% of unemployed Canadians received benefits in May (i.e. 512,600 out of 1,378,600). This proportion was as low as 26% in Ontario (i.e. 148,200 out of 570,200) and 23% in Alberta (i.e. 24,000 out of 102,200).
The federal government threatens to further reduce EI coverage by making it more difficult for unemployed Canadians to receive benefits. These new restrictions were announced as part of the omnibus budget bill in May, but not yet implemented.
July 10th, 2012 · John Crump · Democracy, Economy & Economic Indicators, Environment, Federal Budget
The scientific community is sad to report the death of evidence, which passed away June 18th, 2012, after an over six year battle with Harper government policies. Objective and honest, evidence was heavily involved in all aspects of Canadian prosperity and will be sorely missed by all Canadians, whether they currently realize it or not.
[From an invitation circulated by organizers of the Death of Evidence rally]
They filed down busy Wellington Street to Parliament Hill in the noon sunshine. More than a thousand people, many carrying signs and wearing white lab coats, escorted a black coffin and the Grim Reaper to mark the Death of Evidence.
Canada’s economy grew by half a percent in the first quarter of 2012, staying on pace for unimpressive annual growth of two percent.
The good news is that business investment was strong, at least on a seasonally-adjusted basis. (As usually happens in the first quarter, the actual dollar value of business investment decreased.)
Unfortunately, the other major components of GDP weakened. Government spending on goods and services fell by 0.4%, its largest quarterly decline since 1997. Fiscal austerity is starting to take a bite out of Canadian economic growth.
May 30th, 2012 · Karen Foster · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Employment Insurance, Maritime Provinces, Nova Scotia
Co-authored with Brian Foster
“Is the EI system making it more attractive to not work?”
That’s the (attempt at) thought-provoking (or fire-stoking) title of a recent National Post piece, written in the aftermath of Jim Flaherty’s intellectually lazy and socially irresponsible public musings on the psychological, voluntaristic reasons for Canada’s unemployment rate.
Flaherty, recalling his own years spent toiling as a referee in the wretched, undervalued and invisible Canadian hockey industry, posited that “the only bad job is not having a job”. Most unemployment in Canada, viewed through Flaherty’s diamond-encrusted monocle, is the result of jobless people being too choosy about which jobs they’ll do.
I’ve commented on federal job cuts many times before (here, here, here & here) and in the interests of flogging this particular horse (no animals were harmed in the writing of these reports), the CCPA today is releasing my latest update on the matter: Clearing away the fog: Government Estimates of job losses. You can read a story about it in the Ottawa Citizen.
What’s new is that the government has just released the 2012-13 Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP). These are the departmental reports that project both employment and expenditures down to the program level for each department. It takes some time to go through each department’s RPP, for the readers of this blog I’ve saved you the effort.
April 25th, 2012 · David Macdonald · Economy & Economic Indicators, Employment and Labour, Federal Budget, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts
I wanted to tip my hat to the hard working folks at the PBO for a particularly revealing Economic and Fiscal Outlook that was published today. While the PBO has more than once eaten my lunch on various issues, they’ve done a superb job of looking at Canada’s economic and fiscal position.
I’d particularly like to point readers of this blog to page 2, where the impact of budget cutbacks—both federally and provincially—are aggregated, not only in their real GDP impact, but also in their employment impact. That is to say that when governments cut spending, jobs are lost as a result and those jobs not only include government workers, but also private sector workers. The PBO estimates that the aggregate employment impacts of federal and provincial cutbacks will be over 100,000 jobs by 2014 and 2015.