Understanding what has been happening in recent years with income inequality in Canada is vitally important.
What do we know, for example, about the incidence of low income and poverty, or the impact of taxes and income transfers on the level and distribution of family income? What are the differences in income across provinces, or between different kinds of families, such as seniors and lone-parent families? More pressingly from a public policy perspective, what difference has government policy made to the economic well-being of Canadian families and to the fairness and equity of Canadian society?
Answering these questions relies on having sound data that are reliable and comparable over time.
“Sustained and growing prosperity for everyone in a society depends on government investment in people — in education, health care, infrastructure and basic R&D,” says Robert Reich. “That’s what creates first-class human and other essential assets.”
Columnist Andrew Coyne is a huge fan of the Conservative government's new income splitting proposal. It's in the interest of fairness, you see. Single-earner couples, so his logic goes, aren't getting a fair shake in being taxed more than their dual-earner couple counterparts with the same total income.
By now, however, we are familiar with some of the patently unfair aspects of the Conservative scheme. There's the fact that the tax giveaway stands to exclude single parent families that need the most help. Or that even with the $2,000 cap, benefits from income splitting will accrue disproportionately to wealthy single-earner families.