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  • Could skyrocketing private sector debt spell economic crisis? June 21, 2017
    Our latest report finds that Canada is racking up private sector debt faster than any other advanced economy in the world, putting the country at risk of serious economic consequences. The report, Addicted to Debt, reveals that Canada has added $1 trillion in private sector debt over the past five years, with the corporate sector […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Betting on Bitumen: Alberta's energy policies from Lougheed to Klein June 8, 2017
    The role of government in Alberta, both involvement and funding, has been critical in ensuring that more than narrow corporate interests were served in the development of the province’s bitumen resources.  A new report contrasts the approaches taken by two former premiers during the industry’s early development and rapid expansion periods.  The Lougheed government invested […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Canada-China FTA will leave workers worse off June 2, 2017
    Global Affairs Canada is currently consulting Canadians on a possible Canada-China free trade agreement. In CCPA’s submission to this process, CCPA senior researcher Scott Sinclair argues that an FTA based on Canada’s standard template would almost certainly reinforce rather than improve upon Canada’s imbalanced and deleterious trade with China. It can also be expected to […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Faulty assumptions about pipelines and tidewater access May 30, 2017
    The federal and Alberta governments and the oil industry argue that pipelines to tidewater will unlock new markets where Canadian oil can command a better price than in the US, where the majority of Canadian oil is currently exported. Both governments have approved Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, but a new report finds that […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Weathering the storm: is this the end of CRA’s political activities audits? May 5, 2017
    Yesterday, following a panel’s recommendation to allow charities more freedom to speak out, the federal government decided to suspend the Canada Revenue Agency’s controversial political activities audit program. Indeed this is good news for Canadian charities. Everyone at the CCPA is proud of the role our organization has played in challenging these audits and in […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

Making Real Change Happen

Today’s throne speech was notable for its brevity, but there were certainly a lot of priorities packed into those 1600 words. A small selection:

  1. “The Government will, as an immediate priority, deliver a tax cut for the middle class.” This is quite easily my least favourite action promised by the new Liberal government. The plan increases the marginal tax rate on high income earners, and gives it back on earned income between $45K – $89K. Thanks to the magic of marginal tax rates, this means you only get the maximum $670 if you earn more than 89K. Combine that with median incomes in the $30K range, and you can see that this does very little for middle income earners. The NDP have proposed changes that would reach more Canadians, which I hope the government takes seriously.
  2. “The Government has also committed to provide more direct help to those who need it by giving less to those who do not. The new Canada Child Benefit will do just that.” This change will make a real difference for low income families with children. 5 thumbs up.
  3. “To give Canadians a more secure retirement, the Government will work with the provinces and territories to enhance the Canada Pension Plan.” This will be huge for the 11 million workers in Canada who don’t have a workplace pension plan, particularly young workers.
  4. “The Employment Insurance system will be strengthened to make sure that it best serves both the Canadian economy and all Canadians who need it.” This is one social program that is particularly close to my heart, and I am cautiously optimistic that this will bring positive change to a key pillar of our badly frayed social safety net.
  5. “The Government will undertake these and other initiatives while pursuing a fiscal plan that is responsible, transparent and suited to challenging economic times.” So this is pretty vague, but I think we need to look at what wasn’t said. There is no mention of returning to balance in 2019 (hallelujah!), and not even any mention of debt-to-GDP targets. In conjunction with public statements by Bill Morneau, let’s hope this means that the new government is comfortable with a probable $15B – $20B deficit for FY2016/17. In the face of today’s job numbers, it looks like we’ll be needing that lift.

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Comments

Comment from Andrew
Time: December 9, 2015, 8:36 am

hate to see the ndp embrace tax cuts at a time when we need to expand services. Especially if they still want to balance the budget.

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