Archive for the ‘Policy Context’ Category

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Financing Employment Insurance Reform: Finding the Right Balance 

Friday, December 16th, 2022

… the federal government is facing pressures to avoid increasing EI premiums as many businesses are still recovering from the pandemic and are likely to face another economic downturn. And while some have called for the federal government to contribute financially to the program to limit premium increases, others have expressed concern about burdening taxpayers and adding to the federal debt.

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Let’s Fix Bill C-228 Before It’s Too Late

Monday, December 12th, 2022

Bill C-228 will affect that delicate balance by impeding access to capital in a way that will not foster expansion of cost-efficient plans, like defined benefit plans. It won’t fortify pension security or even maintain current levels of future benefit accrual.  This is a terrible bill. It will not strengthen our pension system. It will weaken it.

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 Ottawa Should Soften Bite Of Benefit Clawbacks For Low-Income Families

Wednesday, November 30th, 2022

… the “participation” tax rate (PTR)… is the cumulative effect of all taxes and loss of fiscal benefits on the entire prospective earnings from work. For a stay-at-home parent, it represents the financial penalty paid out of the total income derived from getting a job… The paper recommends the federal government: Implement “benefit shields”… Allow income averaging… [and] Replace the federal childcare expense tax deduction with a refundable credit

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By the numbers: Here’s the living wage in 10 Ontario regions

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

In Ontario, the minimum wage is now $15.50 per hour, having risen from $15 in October. According to the OLWN, in 2021, the highest living wage was $22.08 for residents in Toronto… “It doesn’t account for debt repayment or saving for education… “we’re talking about the barest living wage for workers to thrive, to have a family, to participate in our society”

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For millions of Ontario workers living on a knife’s edge, paid sick days would be a huge boon. It would also benefit everyone else

Sunday, November 13th, 2022

Employer-paid sick days are desperately needed to improve the mental health and well-being of workers, especially low-income, racialized and non-unionized workers who are least likely to have paid sick days or workplace benefits of any kind… Legislating employers to provide an adequate number of paid sick days is necessary to protect workers from unjust termination and unsustainable financial strain.

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Correcting Course: Employment Insurance Needs a Redesign to Counter Recessions and Achieve Equity

Tuesday, October 11th, 2022

As a primary pillar of Canada’s social safety net, Employment Insurance (EI)… has also gone off track from its original main goal: to provide insurance against unpredictable job losses… The authors make three main policy recommendations: (i) Implement uniform or more universal entrance requirements. (ii) Sharply reduce the number of EI regions. (iii) Improve the responsiveness of the benefit duration formula to labour market downturns and recoveries.

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We’re losing workers, not jobs

Saturday, September 17th, 2022

It turns out that inflationary pressures are caused by pent-up retirements as well as pent-up spending. And those inflation-causing labour shortages are set to worsen before they improve… The worker shortages hold back economic growth and keep Canada’s productivity growth rates at notoriously low levels.  Solutions include fast-tracking immigrants into jobs; experimenting with four-day work weeks and other hybrids; luring retirees back into the workforce; and closing the gender pay gap. 

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A self-inflicted recession and a pointless sacrifice to a mystical two per cent god

Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

With unemployment low, we now face a devil’s choice between continued inflation and deliberate recession. We need other strategies for motivating growth when needed, and slowing it when it’s not. Other tools could be invoked right now to control inflation, such as strategic price controls, targeted taxes on corporations and high-income earners, and low-cost or free public services. But the dominant orthodoxy demands monetary austerity, and nothing else.

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CERB is done, and it’s not coming back. Staring down the barrel of a recession gun, how are we going to fix this?

Wednesday, May 4th, 2022

… why not just bring back CERB when recession hits next time? Because it was too generous to be fiscally sustainable over the long run and not politically sustainable due to sectoral labour shortages. But today’s EI is not fit for purpose either. With less than four in 10 jobless workers able to access it, it’s too stingy. However, there is a lot of consensus on how to fix EI…

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Too many dangers in promised privatization of care economy

Tuesday, April 26th, 2022

People with complications are too costly… They’ll end up in an underfunded public not-for-profit system.  More access to care through for-profit providers does nothing to address the shortage of health care and eldercare workers and early childhood educators. Cheaper, more equitable, high-quality care that creates good jobs won’t happen by expanding for-profit care. Here are 10 advantages of investing more in public and not-for-profit care. 

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