Tax cuts are not the primary means chosen by governments in Canada to ensure that our tax regimes systemically favour the wealthy. A myriad of methods undermine tax fairness. The combined effect in 2015 of these anti-social transfers reduced by at least $633 million the taxes paid by those earning more than $100,000 a year in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). Social transfers are government programmes designed to reduce inequality by helping the vulnerable in society. They can be funded directly out of general revenues, or by contributions from the people and firms who are likely to benefit from the programme. Our income tax system itself can also be thought of as a form of social transfer, inasmuch as it taxes wealthier people at higher rates. A progressive income-tax system is fundamental to reducing inequality in Canada. By contrast, anti-social transfers are government actions that increase inequality. These can take many…
We hear a lot about Muskrat Falls as Danny Williams’ legacy, but it is hardly the only problem he left us to sort out. He rejigged provincial income tax rates between 2007 and 2010 so as to primarily benefit our wealthiest citizens. The result is that people earning in excess of $100,000 a year have since received – in the form of reduced taxes – more money than the province normally raises through income tax in an entire year. Income distribution changing Income figures for 2015, recently released by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), reveal our province to be profoundly divided. Our income distribution now exhibits a strangely inverted symmetry: more than half the people earn only a fifth of the income, while a fifth of the people earn more than half. This pattern is new and results from changes in provincial government policy that favour high-income earners. This policy…
How can we explain the continued government inaction in the face of the worst recession since the cod moratorium?
What is actually being cut in this budget?
Other places have experimented with austerity, so we don’t have to. Here’s how Newfoundland and Labrador can avoid known mistakes and put itself on a path to a brighter, more equitable, future.
What could a major new trade deal and the way the Harper Conservatives have chosen to handle the refugee crisis possibly have in common?
Properly funding and managing Memorial University are fundamental public policy issues and far too important to be left to senior administration or the provincial government.
Does Paul Davis represent a change for the Tories? A comparison of the language used by the provincial government with that of Davis during his leadership campaign provides a revealing answer
Two things worth knowing that you might not have heard about Thursday’s budget
Tom Marshall’s first and last speech from the throne is as remarkable for what it does not say as for what it does
In 2006, Danny Williams declared poverty reduction a strategic priority for the province. Since then childhood poverty has risen 70%.
Why are there limitations on whose art can be procured?
Five years ago, the Flaherty-Harper government introduced income splitting for pensions. Designed to benefit only higher income earners, in 2009, 84% of the people who benefited were men.
If the boom has not led to a marked increase in inequality, the same cannot be said for government policies. They markedly increased our levels of inequality.
Between 2005 and 2009 assessed incomes in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 49%. The boom we are experiencing is without precedent in Canadian history, but it is also exceptional for a quite different reason.
Ownership of stocks, bonds, real estate and professional incomes set the 1% apart from the rest of us.
Finally, we can answer the question: What did they actually do?
Lower taxes, ah yes, but for whom?
All you need to know about the largest government program that they chose not to tell you about
What does the feel-good ad about taxes tell us?