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  • A critical look at BC’s new tax breaks and subsidies for LNG May 7, 2019
    The BC government has offered much more to the LNG industry than the previous government. Read the report by senior economist Marc Lee.  
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver April 30, 2019
    The 2019 living wage for Metro Vancouver is $19.50/hour. This is the amount needed for a family of four with each of two parents working full-time at this hourly rate to pay for necessities, support the healthy development of their children, escape severe financial stress and participate in the social, civic and cultural lives of […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Time to regulate gas prices in BC and stop industry gouging April 29, 2019
    Drivers in Metro Vancouver are reeling from record high gas prices, and many commentators are blaming taxes. But it’s not taxes causing pain at the pump — it’s industry gouging. Our latest research shows that gas prices have gone up by 55 cents per litre since 2016 — and the vast majority of that increase […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA welcomes Randy Robinson as new Ontario Director March 27, 2019
    The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives is pleased to announce the appointment of Randy Robinson as the new Director of our Ontario Office.  Randy’s areas of expertise include public sector finance, the gendered rise of precarious work, neoliberalism, and labour rights. He has extensive experience in communications and research, and has been engaged in Ontario’s […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Budget hints at priorities for upcoming […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Budget 2009: You Read It Here First

Marc Lee predicted a deficit a year ago (in a paper that graciously acknowledged comments from Toby and me.) Our blog was also ahead of the curve on some other aspects of Budget 2009.

I flagged the Equalization cuts the morning after the November 2008 Economic Statement, when they received little attention. These cuts have since become a Budget hot potato because of reaction from Quebec and Newfoundland.

Last week, I raised the probability of Ignatieff putting forward amendments rather than fully accepting or rejecting the Budget. (Given that his amendment is procedural rather than substantive, he has essentially just accepted the Budget. However, my post was correct regarding his choice of political tactics.)

UPDATE (Jan. 30): The Halifax Chronicle Herald is giving us some credit:

With Ontario now collecting modest equalization, the new ceiling for payments would have been British Columbia’s capacity. Mr. Flaherty clearly thought this too generous, so the clawback trigger has been lowered. It’s now the average capacity of the receiving provinces, after counting both equalization and all resource revenues (half of which are excluded when determining who gets equalization).

Muddled? Erin Weir, a young Saskatchewan economist and former NDP candidate, summarizes the impact of Cap 2 in a perceptive online column for the Progressive Economics Forum: It limits the equalization entitlements of resource-rich provinces with below-average personal incomes. So it’s no wonder Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams feels targeted again. Sometimes paranoids do have enemies.

The two caps will save Ottawa $5.3 billion this year and next. Arguably, a large chunk of the budget’s $12-billion infrastructure program is perversely rerouted from equalization.

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