• A Stronger Safety Net

    … filing a tax return would automatically trigger a “no-­strings-attached” cash grant for anyone whose income falls below the poverty line. Less of the money earned above the $1,320 would be clawed back, providing a greater incentive for claimants to work, says Segal. The proposed program is far easier to administer, less paternalistic and allows people to spend their money as they choose…

  • The other Canadian anniversary: 100 years of income tax

    The one constant in all of this change is growing revenue from the personal income tax. In terms of per-person federal personal income taxes, the burden has increased from roughly $14 a person in 1918 (in 2016 dollars) to roughly $4,120 in 2017, an almost 300-fold increase.

  • Reverse tax cuts to fund health care

    When was the last year you remember that there weren’t any cuts to hospitals and health care, education, pools, rinks and all other public-sector services, not to mention the infrastructure deficit with our sewers, water, roads, bridges and hydro system? How much of the federal deficit, since 1981, has been caused by corporate tax cuts and tax cuts that mostly went to the top one per cent?

  • Child benefits cut tax rate for families in Canada, OECD report finds

    At the turn of the century, a single-income family with two children in Canada had an effective tax rate of 14.2 per cent. That rate fell below 10 per cent after the Great Recession and dropped dramatically over the past two years… Over the same period, the net personal average tax rate for a single worker remained above 20 per cent.

  • Radical tax reform is in the wind — here’s how to make it efficient and fair

    The bedrock principle of an efficient tax system is neutrality: the system should neither reward nor penalize any particular thing or activity, but should rather apply as evenly and as uniformly as possible: tax everything, and tax it at the same rate… A personal consumption tax, and a corporate cash-flow tax, are essentially mirror images of each other. Together they would make a fine pair of reforms, addressing critical weaknesses in the present system without adding their own.

  • Up to 30 per cent of medical care Canadians receive is unnecessary: report

    … unnecessary care creeps into the health-care system for a slew of reasons. Part of the problem is patients, armed with medical advice from the Internet, demanding cutting-edge tests and treatments… But the biggest contributor… is the way excessive care is “baked into” the health-care system, with hospitals relying on outdated forms that make tests automatic and doctors ordering procedures out of habit…

  • The new Liberal budget will send money for ‘children’ right to the wealthy and the bureaucrats

    Currently only about 15 per cent of Canadian children 0-5 are in daycare centres. Statistics Canada reports that higher-income families are more likely to use this arrangement. Taxpayers are funding higher-income families with huge subsidies for institutional child care at the expense of lower income families — including single parents — who prioritize parental child care… To efficiently fund child care we should fund children, not spaces and their massive related system costs. We could do this by increasing the federal government’s child benefit.

  • How we implement basic income will define our future

    In Western economies… pre-retirement assistance is an increasingly dysfunctional patchwork of schemes. Some are directed at certain groups while ignoring others. Many are tied to employment… We’re coming back to UBI now because the “social contract” between employers and workers lies in ruins. The decline of unions has consigned powerless workers to exploitative workplaces. And the tax system has been perverted to liberate the wealthiest 1 per cent from paying their fair share.

  • Why Morneau got cold feet over ridding Canada of tax credits

    To combat a structural problem requires a structural solution… First… An independent committee can be tasked with delivering a bundle of reforms to be accepted or rejected as a whole… Second, the process should deliver a clear and transparent benefit to all taxpayers… Third, any new tax measure should by law become subject to a mandatory review for effectiveness after a set number of years.

  • Tax Fairness? Maybe Next Year, Say Liberals

    Closing unfair and ineffective tax loopholes could have raised $16 billion. They failed to deliver, again, on their election promise to end the stock options deduction that gives almost a billion dollars to some of the richest people in Canada. They failed to make the tax system simpler or fairer… How long before regular taxpayers conclude that the promise of fair system was an empty one?