Brand reform

If the Prime Minister is looking for advice, Scott Clark and Peter DeVries have already posted their budget submission.

Mr. Flaherty, you have recently referred to the need for politicians in Europe “to show political leadership and courage” to solve the EURO area’s problems.

Although Canada is not in a fiscal crisis, the federal government, nevertheless, does face policy challenges that will require that you also show political “leadership and courage” to address them. You will need to put ideology aside. You will need to reverse some past budget decisions. You will need to confront entrenched economic interests and do what is right for the economy. You will need to become more transparent and accountable, and you will need to make Canadians part of the policy development process.

Included in their recommendations is major tax reform: the elimination of special tax breaks, the elimination of EI premiums, raising the GST by two points and lowering both personal income and corporate taxes. They also advise deeper expenditure cuts, with that money reallocated to infrastructure spending.




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Brand reform

  1. This comment was deleted.

    • As you can see the idea is ‘major tax reform’….not just raising the GST.

      The original idea was to use the GST, and lower income taxes….but it never got that far.

  2. Doing any of these things will require the Cons to put the country’s well-being ahead of partisan advantage — anyone think that’s any likelier than flying pigs?

  3. Some of the authors’ suggestions would shift the tax burden from men to women and from the rich to the poor.  Perhaps the authors might address why this is, in their view, good policy.

    • Sorry but I fail to see any gender-specific recommendations in their submission? As for shifting the burden from the rich to the poor, I disagree. “Rich” people have more disposable income, therefore spend more and would therefore pay more GST. A good basis for reform would be to lower income taxes so as to compensate lower income families the average amount of GST they would have to pay more, while less so for higher income individuals. Spenders-payers is the system we should all look forward to.


      • Sorry but I fail to see any gender-specific recommendations in their submission?”

        Yep, to a layperson it’s not obvious, but to those of us who are educated on the matter it’s obvious.  Men are far more economically productive than women – they earn more on average and are vastly overrepresented at the highest tax bracket.  An income tax cut does nothing for the 39% of female tax filers who pay zero income tax, and disproportionately rewards men.  Not that I have a problem with that.

        A consumption tax is regressive, that’s Economics 101 and not seriously debatable.  It harms the poor more than the rich, despite the rich having more disposable income, because consumption decreases as a % of income as income rises (wealthier people save and invest the money they do not spend, which the poor cannot do).  See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consumption_tax#Practical_considerations

      • I mostly agree – although sales tax is generally considered a recessive tax. However, as you said, this can be easily remedied through use of refunds or aimed income tax cuts.

      • Lowering income taxes does nothing for those families who currently don’t pay income taxes — ie, the poorest. Thus all they see is the increase in the GST.

        Lowering EI can help some of them, but again, they see far less benefit from it than someone on the higher end. And the truly desperate/unemployed see no benefit from it at all — unless it translates to a company hiring another person, but the flaw in that argument is that (successful) companies don’t hire people just because they have extra money, they hire people when they have more demand than their current staff can service.  So once again, all they see is the increase in the GST.

        This of course could be offset by increasing the amount and frequency of the GST refunds.. but go that way far enough and you’re simply talking about Guaranteed Annual Income and that sets off all the puritans who don’t want to think that a society has a responsibility to all members of it, not just the ones who work.

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