Behind the Numbers

Entries Tagged as 'Taxes and Tax Cuts'

Who Really Benefits from Canada’s Tax Giveaways?

May 29th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Taxes and Tax Cuts

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Budget Office released their long awaited costing and distributional analysis of the tax measures implemented since the Harper government has been in power. In essence, they asked what is the cost of these tax cuts, who benefits, and to what degree.

The Price Tag of the Tax Cuts

The total cost of the tax cuts implemented by this government is $30.4 Billion in 2014 ($17.1B on the income tax side and $13.3B from the GST/HST cuts). This is in addition to the cuts to the federal corporate income tax, which the PBO report did not look at but Jim Stanford has estimated to cost around $13 billion in annual revenue.

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Behind the #ONelxn Spin: The reality behind Hudak’s 100,000 job cut promise

May 12th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario, public services

At a campaign stop on Friday morning, Ontario Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak pledged to cut 100,000 jobs from the public service in Ontario in order to balance the budget.

According to the Globe and Mail’s description of the announcement, “Mr. Hudak did not say exactly which jobs would be cut, but promised not to touch doctors, nurses or police officers. He suggested instead that he would mostly look to eliminate administrative positions and to privatize some services. The Tories have, in the past, talked about privatizing gambling and the LCBO, among other things.”

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Ontario Budget Watch 2014: What we’re looking for

April 28th, 2014 · · Ontario

This week’s 2014 Ontario budget won’t contain many surprises – much of what will be in the budget has already been announced – but it should contain core principles to guide the province toward greater shared prosperity.

Here are 5 guiding principles we at the CCPA-Ontario office will be watching for in the budget:

1. End austerity

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Don’t throw taxes under the bus

April 15th, 2014 · · Ontario, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

As Ontario inches toward a potential spring election showdown, Premier Kathleen Wynne is making clear that she wants public transit to become the ballot box question.

That’s heartening, because there is majority public support for greater transit investments after too many years of political and traffic gridlock.

But it looks like she’s throwing needed new taxes under the bus in the process.

In her most recent announcement, Wynne committed to $29 billion in transit and transportation improvements over the next 10 years.

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The political fight for Ontario’s middle class

March 20th, 2014 · · Ontario, Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

“Middle class” is the new “working Ontario families.” Every second speech and press release here contains it now. – Adrian Morrow, Globe and Mail reporter, Queen’s Park, Twitter, March 20, 2014.

With election fever mounting in Ontario, the political field is quickly crowding around the middle of the income spectrum in search of votes.

And – surprise, surprise – low taxes are dominating the list of enticements.

NDP Leader Andrea Horwath is insisting she’ll reject any provincial budget that includes asking Ontario’s middle class to pay more taxes or tolls.

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A Toxic Mix: Minimum wage and business tax cuts

February 26th, 2014 · · Employment and Labour, Ontario, Taxes and Tax Cuts

Yesterday, Ontario’s NDP announced an election plank: increase the minimum wage, and at the same time, cut taxes for small business.

The gist of their proposal:

a) a 33% tax cut for small businesses and

b) a 56 cent minimum wage increase over and above what the current government has already committed

I have no squabble with the minimum wage increase. Sure, I wish it were higher, as we proposed to the Minimum Wage Advisory Panel back in November. The problem comes when a wage increase is coupled with a tax cut. This sets an extremely dangerous precedent. It buys into the rhetoric that minimum wage increases are bad for business and governments need to mitigate the damage.

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We’re Splitsville on Income Splitting…Now What?

February 14th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Child Care, Satire, Taxes and Tax Cuts, Uncategorized

Well, that was awkward.

Oh, sorry—I’m not talking about how the federal government, in a remarkable display of self-satire, cut short debate on the Fair Elections Act (or as I like to call it: “Democracy 2.0: Abridged too far”).

And, tempting as it is, I’m not hinting at the recent PBO analysis that demonstrates, directly contradicting the Treasury Board’s 18 days estimate, how sick leave in the Federal public service is virtually identical to the 11 days per year that private sector workers take.

Nor am I referring to the Federal Budget’s youth internship programs that, at best, address the needs of 1% of unemployed youth.

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Will income-splitting’s politics trump its lousy economics?

February 14th, 2014 · · Poverty and Income Inequality, Taxes and Tax Cuts

This piece was first published in the Globe and Mail’s Economy Lab.

You could hear the sound of jaws dropping across the nation this week when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, in response to a question from a journalist, cast doubt on the idea of income-splitting for young families, something his party has been promising since March 28, 2011.

The idea – which would allow the higher-earning spouse to transfer income to their lower-earning spouse in order to reduce their total tax hit – provoked controversy right from the start. But it became an increasingly hard sell as economists and think tanks from across the political spectrum lined up in agreement: Income-splitting costs too much for something that is worse than doing nothing.

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The uncomfortable truth behind deficit politics

February 10th, 2014 · · Economy & Economic Indicators, Ontario, public services, Taxes and Tax Cuts

In the lead up to Budget 2014, the Wynne government is caught in a transition between two mutually exclusive messages: the doom and gloom fiscal narrative her predecessors handed her and the end of austerity narrative her government floated with its Fall 2013 economic update.

What makes the story even more complex is that, with a minority government, Wynne doesn’t have the luxury of time to set up the basis for that new narrative.

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Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a better balance

February 5th, 2014 · · Alternative Federal Budget, Economy & Economic Indicators, Federal Budget, Income Inequality

The following remarks are excerpted from the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget press conference, featuring Armine Yalnizyan, David Macdonald and Bruce Campbell (February 5th, Parliament Hill).

This year is our 19th Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).

From the beginning, we’ve developed a rigorous economic and fiscal framework for our Budget; and we have acquired an enviable reputation for more accurately forecasting fiscal balances than the  Department of Finance. Organizers of a recent international conference in Berlin recently called our alternative budget the leading example of its kind in the world. Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page has praised it, as have many academic economists.

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