Ottawa – The federal budget missed an opportunity to recover up to $12 billion in tax revenue that could be invested in needed health and social programs, contends the Broadbent Institute.
“Tax loopholes used mainly by the very wealthy are costing us billions every year,” stated Rick Smith, Executive Director of the Broadbent Institute. “A fairer tax system that sees these loopholes closed would help us fight the inequality that’s threatening many of our communities.”
It’s safe to say that taxes aren’t everyone’s favourite subject. Canadians are usually confronted with the idea during tax season: as we frantically get our financial documents in order, while tempering our slight annoyance with the government for peering into our pockets. But we need to have more comprehensive conversations on how taxes affect our lives on a daily basis; because the fight for a fairer tax system is real and urgent.
Special tax treatment of dividend income costs a lot in terms of foregone government revenues, mainly benefits the very affluent, and thus merits serious re-consideration as part of the federal government's current review of tax expenditures.
The new Canada Child Benefit (CCB) unveiled in the 2016 federal Budget has been widely supported by progressives and anti poverty activists who have long favoured the expansion of income tested child tax credits. By contrast to the so called middle-class tax cut which favours the more affluent, the CCB will have a positive impact upon the lamentably high rate of child poverty in Canada (which stood at 16.5% in 2013), and will promote greater income equality among families with children.
Somewhat ironically, the new program is an unintended consequence of the regressive policies of the Harper government which opened up the needed fiscal room for progressive change.
Posted by NationBuilder Support · April 20, 2015 3:07 AM
1. Family Income Splitting
The federal government plans to spend about $2-billion per year on family income splitting that will mainly benefit high-income, traditional families with a stay at home spouse, to a maximum amount of $2,000 per year. There is no benefit at all from income splitting for single parents, or for two parent families in which both earners are in the same tax bracket, including the middle and bottom income tax brackets; these families with children under 18 represent over half of all families that are the apparent target of the scheme, according to the Broadbent Institute study, The Big Split. Meanwhile, the large savings will go to families with one partner in the top tax bracket and a stay at home spouse with a tax rate of zero. This big pre-election tax cut will directly increase income inequality.
The federal government has delivered on the first of its two major tax promises from the 2011 election campaign. Income-splitting has been extensively assessed and widely criticized for its revenue cost, its tilt toward higher-income families, and its failure to accomplish anything beneficial for the economy.
If the Tories go ahead with plans to double the contribution limit on tax-free savings accounts, it will cost the government billions of dollars and benefit only the very wealthy, two separate studies released Tuesday say.