Thumbs up for Ontario’s new Childcare Plan

Friday, April 19th, 2019

The new Ontario Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit, initially estimated to cost around $400 million, will incentivize thousands of stay-at-home parents (mostly mothers) to join the workforce, generating additional taxable employment income and boosting tax revenues in the long run. The credit is targeted, mostly, at low- to modest-income families, where gaps from the current childcare expense tax deduction are the greatest… The CARE refundable tax credit will fill this gap, refunding up to 75 percent of the cost.

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What to do about housing?

Friday, March 15th, 2019

A policy that increases supply will lower prices and increase quantities, improving both household debt and affordability… The reality is that plenty of land is earmarked for development, but we often lack the necessary infrastructure. Without water, sewage, and highways, why would a developer build? Getting these infrastructure projects going, in tandem with other levels of government, should be job Number 1.

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US Tax Changes should Trigger Bold Reform in Canada

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

The authors propose a cash-flow tax, or what economists call a tax on economic “rents” which would involve the immediate write-off of all capital expenditures coupled with the elimination of the debt-interest deduction. The idea is to replace the corporate income tax with a tax that applies only to above-normal return on investment and is, therefore, neutral with respect to business investment and financing decisions.

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Earnings Inequality and the Gender Pay Gap in Canada

Friday, March 8th, 2019

There have been sizeable improvements in female representation at the top of the earnings distribution with the share of women in the top 9 percent increasing more than threefold. However, given the still low representation of women among top earners, those improvements have not been sufficient to counterbalance the effects of increasing top earnings inequality.

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Fiscal Transparency: How the Federal Government Can Get an A+

Friday, March 1st, 2019

To start, make the key numbers in the 2019 budget easy to find: up front, and clearly identified… produce estimates that matched the budget and the financial statements… the 2018 budget’s reconciliation of its projections with the anticipated estimates was unclear and incomplete… Timely reporting helps legislators and citizens spot – and, if needed, demand action to correct – deviations from plans that make no sense and/or threaten the fiscal plan.

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Lab Testing Misuse Costs Billions

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

“Reducing inappropriate use requires careful considerations of the trade-off between the effectiveness of interventions and their acceptability to physicians,” said Rosalie Wyonch. “Incorporating laboratory services in physician compensation formulas would be an effective tool to discourage unnecessary lab tests.” …  The report proposes a number of options for policymakers to reduce inappropriate laboratory testing:

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Pharmacare and Politics

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Rather than going for an expensive single-payer model, we think Ottawa would be far better off with a “gap-filling” model. Under that approach, each province and territory would create a public pharmacare plan that would automatically cover anyone who wasn’t already covered by an existing public plan, or by a government-approved private plan. As an inducement, the federal government could offer a modest enhancement of the Canada Health Transfer, or offer to pay part of the incremental cost that each province would incur by offering such a plan.

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Hallway Medicine and Value-based Funding

Friday, January 25th, 2019

Fundamentally, the payment system is too complex and incoherent. This often creates perverse incentives and makes it difficult for policymakers to achieve desired outcomes… Value-based funding pays healthcare providers for outcomes, not for each siloed service individually… Competition based on value for money will allow the Ontario health system to do more with less.

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Ottawa Wins from Ontario’s Proposed Childcare Rebate

Saturday, January 19th, 2019

The newly elected government in Ontario pledged in its electoral platform to implement a childcare rebate program, which would reimburse up to 75 percent of the childcare expenses of low-income families, with the childcare subsidy rate gradually declining as family income grows… Over the first few years, we expect about 60,000 stay-at-home mothers to enter the workforce.

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