News: Taxation

Taxation | Research | Policy Statements | Federal Budgets | News

Taxation News

Want to know what CPJ staff have been saying on taxation in Canada? 

Read the latest news and views from staff at CPJ on taxation. 

Responsibility and care in Budget 2011

Last week CPJ submitted our pre-budget recommendations to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance for Budget 2011. Every year this committee invites Canadians to raise concerns and offer suggestions for the drafting of the next federal budget.

Our recommendations come at a time of economic recovery after the recent recession, when the government is facing challenges concerning how to invest Canadian revenues for the best possible outcome. CPJ recognizes that these decisions are not always easy. But in order to promote the well-being of all Canadians, the budget must be made up of responsible and caring investments.

The Robin Hood Tax

As new research from CPJ demonstrates, the poor bore the brunt of the recent recession. In Canada, hundreds of thousands lost their jobs and were left at the mercy of inadequate Employment Insurance and social assistance. Globally, millions suffered from rising unemployment, deep financial uncertainty, and high food prices. Yet it was not the poor that caused the economic downturn.

The economic crisis was caused by financial activity – speculation – taking place far from the everyday lives of the poor. The banks and financial institutions and other actors involved in creating the speculation bubble have taken their bailout and moved on into recovery. The poor are still waiting for their recovery.

Employment Insurance and the recession

Last week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) released a report Is EI working for Canada’s unemployed? Analyzing the Great Recession, by Andrew Jackson and Sylvain Schetagne. The report, part of the Alternative Federal Budget project, evaluates the state of Canada’s Employment Insurance system. In preparation for the release of Budget 2010, the CCPA is calling for an extension of benefits for EI.

Happy Tax Freedom Day?

Congratulations on reaching Tax Freedom Day. According to the Fraser Institute, today’s the day that we all stop working for the government and start working for ourselves.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty also wants you to know that he’s very proud Tax Freedom Day came three days earlier this year than last year. Three less days this year of working for the Man.

The only problem with this happy scenario is that it’s not even remotely true. Tax Freedom Day is (unsurprisingly) an anti-taxation, anti-government event that has more to do with ideology than reality. Equally unsurprisingly, it relies on some fancy work with numbers to arrive at its conclusions.

The Real Benefit of Public Services

Little girl learning to write It’s tax time in Canada and people across the country are crunching their numbers, filling out the forms, and crossing their fingers for a good tax return. Chances are, very little consideration is being given to the benefit of paying taxes, or to the services we receive in return. 

The extent to which taxes have been disassociated from public services is astounding. Across the Canadian political spectrum, taxation is consistently presented in a negative light. Yet the truth about taxes is that they finance the mechanisms by which the health, safety, and well-being of our society are promoted. They also provide us with tremendous personal benefits.

Ontario’s Harmonized Sales Tax: a regressive policy

In Ontario’s provincial budget last month, the government announced its intention to harmonize the GST (5%) and PST (8%) into an HST: a Harmonized Sales Tax. While at first glance the HST appears to be a simple policy change, it in fact will have a significant impact on individuals and families, and disproportionately those with low-incomes.

Calculating the benefit of taxes

CPJ believes that taxes are one way that we can contribute to the common good. But now a new study from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives demonstrates that by paying taxes, we are also contributing to our own individual good.

The study, Canada’s Quiet Bargain: The benefits of public spending by Hugh Mackenzie and Richard Shillington, examines the benefits of public services paid by taxes. It finds that the average benefit received by public services is equivalent to $17,000.

Tax cuts are not good stimulus - Part III

CPJ has noted before that tax cuts are not good economic stimulus. Many economists agree that they provide less “bang for the buck” than direct government spending, and in this current economic climate, many people will choose to save rather than spend their tax cut money.

Today, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative released a report suggesting that tax cuts might be worse than that – rather than failing to provide good economic stimulus, they might actually harm the economy.


Subscribe to RSS - News: Taxation

Latest Tweets