Who really benefits from Canada’s tax giveaways?

22 June 2014Politics

Kayle Hatt, writing for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ‘Behind the Numbers’ blog:

On Tuesday, the Parliamentary Budget Office released their long awaited costing and distributional analysis of the tax measures implemented since the Harper government has been in power. In essence, they asked what is the cost of these tax cuts, who benefits, and to what degree.

The total cost of the tax cuts implemented by this government is $30.4 Billion in 2014 ($17.1B on the income tax side and $13.3B from the GST/HST cuts). This is in addition to the cuts to the federal corporate income tax, which the PBO report did not look at but Jim Stanford has estimated to cost around $13 billion in annual revenue.

For comparison, reducing post-secondary tuition fees to 1992 levels (as proposed by this year’s Alternative Federal Budget) would cost $2.8 billion and eliminating all university fees in Canada would cost $5.9 billion a year. Or for less than the tax cuts, we could implement a national pharmacare program and a national affordable childcare program, which would cost $4.5 billion and $6 billion respectively once fully implemented, as proposed by the CCPA.

I can’t say that I’ve noticed a dramatic impact to my after-tax income as a result of the Harper government’s tax cuts. I think the money could have been better used on new programs and services.