The Conservative budget's failure to initiate a process of comprehensive tax reform is a missed opportunity to lift Canada's prospects for long-term prosperity and growth. Tax reform and simplification would improve Canada's international competitiveness, productivity and economic growth, from both a personal and corporate perspective.
The Harper Conservatives have done a lot of damage to Canada. It has been the proverbial death by a thousand cuts: health transfers, aboriginal education and health, child care, social and co-op housing. The list goes on. It has increased stress on ordinary Canadians and created a huge social, economic and environmental deficit. And it has increased unemployment and harmed economic growth. The big question will be: Can damage be undone without raising taxes on 90 per cent of middle and lower income Canadians? The answer is yes.
Children up to six years old will receive $160 per month or $1,920 for the year. Once they turn six, parents will receive $60 per month or $720 per year until the child turns 18. If you are a parent, it can make you excited about your taxes. However, it is not being paid out as part of your tax refund.
Investing in an RESP early on can give you peace of mind knowing that money is there to help fund your child's education. The earlier you start, the more your savings can benefit from the power of compounding. If you start investing $210 every month for your newborn, their RESP could be worth as much as $30,743 more than if you start when your child is five.
The ecological and physical consequences of blowing our carbon budget, from disappearing coastlines to a melting arctic, are stark but often hard for someone like Minister Flaherty to understand. This ignorance, willful or accidental, is dangerous because it is also obscuring major economic consequences.
Health associations have long been calling for a "fat tax"; taxes on foods that some nutritionists and researchers don't want us to eat or drink. Unfortunately, the lack of sound thinking behind vilifying sugary drinks or less healthful snacks has not changed, nor has the blunt, imprecise, and unfair nature of a "junk food" or "sugary drink" tax. Overly simplistic solutions to obesity that vilify an industry or food product are bad public policy. The reality is that "junk food" taxes or sugary drink taxes are ineffective instruments that fail to recognize the complex and manifold causes of obesity. It's time we put the idea of such taxes in their rightful place: the junk bin.
Canada is a superb creation and initial credit for that must, obviously, go to Canada's founding fathers. How we came about is a fascinating tale of seemingly intractable regional disputes resolved, at least for a time, by new institutions and a new country. Thus, today, inter-provincial debates are similar to pre-1867 tussles where one province's citizens complain of how others are on the federal dole courtesy of tax dollars from the more prosperous regions. And all the provinces again regularly press the federal government for more money.
Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has a provision for individuals living with a disability to claim a disability tax credit. While this has been in place for a long time, it was just a few years ago that individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) were allowed to claim the tax credit, if they meet the criteria as set out by CRA.
We often hear that in Canada, "the rich are becoming richer while the poor are getting poorer." Fortunately, studies focusing on economic mobility in Canada tell a totally different and more accurate story. By looking at these data, it becomes clear that it is the poorest 20 per cent who enjoy the highest upward economic mobility.
There are many variables when examining which country is best for business, whether it be demographics, infrastructure, cost of living or personal quality of life. An important consideration when deciding where to set up shop is total tax costs. The tax landscape is a delicate ecosystem, and even the slightest change can certainly impact a location's overall competitiveness. A competitive tax structure is crucial to attracting inbound investment, spurring innovation, and creating skilled jobs.