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The Harper government gives five reasons why Canadians ought to be happy with its proposal to double the maximum contribution to the Tax-Free Savings Account. Examine each of its points more closely, however, and it’s clear that the TFSA carries far higher risks than rewards — for individual Canadians as well as for the economy […]
Over at the blog of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Ottawa U professor Mario Seccareccia has given an interview titled “Greece Shows the Limits of Austerity in the Eurozone. What Now?” The interview can be read here.
Posted by Nick Falvo under banks, budgets, capitalism, debt, deficits, deflation, democracy, economic crisis, economic history, Europe, exchange rates, financial crisis, Greece, IMF, inflation, monetary policy, recession, taxation, unemployment, wages.
February 5th, 2015
This op-ed by yours truly was published in The Province. The examples are BC-specific, but the message is much broader: donating to charity is not enough, we also have to change the status quo that forces so many people to turn to charity in a rich country like Canada. — It’s December, the season for […]
(The following is something I’ve prepared for the next issue of CUPE’s Economy at Work, a popular economics quarterly publication I produce.) In his annual Economic and Fiscal Update (EFU), finance minister Joe Oliver told Canadians that while the federal government will finally record a surplus next year after seven years of deficits, we can’t […]
In a little noticed comment, Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently was reported to say: “Dropping our tax rate has not caused the government’s corporate income tax revenues to fall, which indicates that it does in fact attract business.” No one seems to have questioned his statement, even though it was made on the same day […]
The Fraser Institute’s annual Consumer Tax Index report generated some media buzz with its outlandish claims about just how much taxes have risen since 1961. Before you get worked up about this, consider that 1961 was over half a century ago, before the time of universal health care that we all benefit from, before the […]
This piece was originally published at the Globe and Mail’s online Report on Business feature, EconomyLab. There are two reasons why it is difficult to comment on the legacy of a finance minister. 1) It is a tremendously challenging job, anywhere, any time. Stewarding one of the largest economies in the world through a […]
Posted by Armine Yalnizyan under budgets, Conservative government, deficits, federalism, fiscal federalism, global crisis, housing, IMF, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, OECD, public infrastructure, Role of government, StatCan, stimulus, taxation, TFSA, World Bank.
March 20th, 2014
I posted this on CCPA’s BC Policy Note blog but others across Canada should pay attention to BC’s quest for LNG gold. I’d also recommend this comparison of the Quebec and BC budgets by Michal Rozworski, which highlights the stubborn emphasis on natural resource development in both budgets. It’s like the tax cut culture has […]
This morning I gave a presentation to a church group in Ottawa on affordable housing and homelessness. My slides can be downloaded here. Points I raised in the presentation include the following: -Though government provides subsidies to some low-income households for housing, it is important to be mindful of the considerable funding available for Canadian […]
This blog’s unofficial slogan has been “Tomorrow’s conventional wisdom, today.” After this week’s Conservative backpedaling on income splitting, we may need to change it to “Today’s conventional wisdom, seven years ago.” Or we could just stick with “You read it here first.” My first-ever blog post, Income Splitting Redux, argued that this tax policy “would benefit […]
Here’s the first section of the budget summary and analysis I’ve prepared for CUPE. The full version is on-line on CUPE’s website at http://cupe.ca/economics/missing-action-federal-budget-2014 together with CUPE’s press release at: http://cupe.ca/economics/federal-budget-2014-help-hurt-canadian Missing In Action: Federal Budget 2014 CUPE Federal Budget 2014 Summary and Response Conservatives ignore pressing economic needs with a Do-little budget Using more […]
This afternoon I gave a presentation to Professor Ted Jackson’s graduate seminar course on higher education, taught in Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The link to my slide deck, titled “The Political Economy of Post-Secondary Education in Canada,” can be found here. Points I raised in the presentation include the following: -Tuition […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under debt, demographics, economic risk, education, employment, household debt, Indigenous people, inequality, post-secondary education, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, unemployment, user fees, young workers.
February 6th, 2014
Another column by Gwyn Morgan in the Globe and Mail and another case of a 0.1 percenter telling the rest of us to “Do as I say, not as I do.” This time, it’s Gwyn recycling trash from the CFIB and Fraser Institute to claim defined benefit pensions for public sector workers are too generous […]
Yesterday’s release from Statistics Canada on the income share of the wealthy generated some interesting coverage and commentary. It reported that the top 1%’s share of total income in Canada remained steady in 2011 in Canada, at 10.6 percent — but still significantly higher than in the 1980s. Most observers did not mention, however, that this […]
Buried in the federal government’s recent Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections are figures showing the Harper government is set to squeeze federal government’s role to the smallest it has been in seventy years. (Bill Curry at the Globe also just wrote about this, but without figures further back than 1958). Total federal government spending as a share […]
A recent online article suggests that Federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair is opposed to increasing federal tax rates. I find this quite surprising. According to the August 8 article: Mulcair seemed surprised when he was asked if taxes would go up under an NDP government. “You’re the first person who’s ever asked me that,” he […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Conservative government, corporate income tax, economic literacy, fiscal policy, income tax, NDP, party politics, progressive economic strategies, social democracy, taxation.
August 9th, 2013
It has recently been reported that the University of Alberta wants to “reopen two-year collective agreements” with faculty and staff “to help the university balance its budget…” This appears to be in direct response to Alberta’s provincial government announcing in its March budget that there would be a “7% cut to operating grants to universities, […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under Alberta, budgets, corporate profits, education, employment, fiscal policy, income, income distribution, income tax, inequality, post-secondary education, productivity, taxation, unions, wages.
August 7th, 2013
Last fall, Greek magazine editor Kostas Vaxevanis published in his magazine Hot Doc a list of 2,000 wealthy Greeks who were hiding taxable savings in the Geneva branch of HSBC. The list had been furnished years earlier by the then French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to the Greek government, who did nothing in regards to chasing after […]
On April 23, the Fraser Institute released the annual update of their misleading Consumer Tax Index report. The piece is meant to feed the anti-tax sentiment with numbers sprinkled liberally for their shock value instead of providing any meaningful analysis. Here are some of the main flaws with the report’s methodology. If what follows sounds […]
A new CCPA (National) report by Marc Lee and myself argues that Canada’s tax system needs a “fairness” overhaul and presents a framework for progressive tax reform. Those of you who have been following our tax work so far will find this study a great complement to the BC Tax Options Paper. Tax policy is […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under corporate income tax, financial transactions tax, guaranteed annual income, income support, income tax, inequality, progressive economic strategies, taxation, TFSA.
February 14th, 2013
Further to Toby’s comments, Miles Corak has posted an excellent commentary on the new numbers on high incomes, together with a spread sheet showing average effective tax rates by income group from the 1980s. The big story is that the average effective tax rate for the very affluent has been stable since the early 1980s […]
Statistics Canada’s release on the escalating incomes of the top 1 per cent gained a lot of media coverage — and also provoked some very defensive reactions by major organs of the Canadian media. This included an almost rabid column by Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran accusing Statistics Canada of engaging in class warfare and, in […]
This is a guest blog post written by Whitehorse-based economist, Luigi Zanasi. Please feel free to comment. Also, please note that this was written before Marc’s blog post of Jan. 14 re: BC’s carbon tax. — Towards a fair cap & trade system for GHG emissions In the last two federal elections, the NDP quite […]
An oped of mine was published by the Vancouver Sun today: What’s next for BC’s carbon tax? Marc Lee Climate change forced its way onto the political agenda in 2012, as Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeast United Stages just days before the election. And while action remains frustratingly slow, extreme weather disasters in the […]
This September, like every year, a new group of high school graduates headed to college or university to pursue higher education. But today’s generation of students is in for a very different experience from the ones their parents had. On campuses across the country shiny new buildings are popping up, bearing corporate logos or the […]
Posted by Iglika Ivanova under education, income distribution, inequality, labour market, privatization, public infrastructure, public services, student debt, taxation, user fees, young workers.
October 9th, 2012
The Minister leading up BC’s Carbon Tax Review, Kevin Falcon, may be gone – his departure came just as the deadline for submissions was closing – but the carbon tax lives on. For now. Back in 2008 when the carbon tax was announced, it was scheduled to rise from an initial level of $10 per […]
A growing share of Canada’s investment overseas is being channeled by Canadian banks into tax havens. The latest Statistics Canada figures show 24% of Canadian direct investment overseas in 2011 went to the top twelve tax havens, up from 10% in 1987. In fact, tax havens of the Barbados, Cayman Islands, Ireland, Luxembourg and Bermuda were […]
The latest issue of the Canadian Tax Journal has a number of articles on Tax-Free Savings Accounts. Among the papers of interest: Kevin Milligan projects the potential tax impact of accumulated TFSA contribution room by estimating what a mature TFSA would have meant for income taxation in 2005. Even short of doubling the contribution limit […]
Well well, another misinformed tax freedom day has come and gone on June 12th. To mark the occasion this year I wanted to skip over the very serious methodological flaws that others have pointed out, and take a look at several other items that Canadians are “free of” at various points. By gaining “freedom” from the taxes […]
On June 7, I gave a keynote address to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Education Sector Conference. My PowerPoint presentation (with full references) can be found at this link. Points I raised in the address include the following: -Canada’s economy has been growing quite steadily over the past three decades, even when one adjusts […]
Posted by Nick Falvo under BC, competition, Conservative government, corporate income tax, debt, demographics, education, fiscal federalism, fiscal policy, household debt, income distribution, income tax, inequality, macroeconomics, Newfoundland and Labrador, P3s, part time work, post-secondary education, privatization, productivity, public infrastructure, Quebec, rankings, regulation, Role of government, social policy, student debt, student movement, taxation, user fees, working time, young workers.
June 7th, 2012