• Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Inequality

    Self-Interest of Wealthy Investors Explains Over-the-Top Reaction to Capital Gains Reform

    The federal government’s 2024-25 budget included an important reform to the taxation of capital gains. Capital gains occur when an asset is sold for more than it cost to acquire. Capital gains are heavily concentrated among high-income Canadians – more so than any other form of income. And making matters worse, they receive lucrative tax preferences: until this year, recipients only had to declare half their gains on their income tax (for a so-called ‘inclusion rate’ of 50%). The other half was entirely tax-free. In contrast, other forms of income (like wages and salaries) must all be reported on a tax return: that is, their ‘inclusion rate’ is 100%!

  • Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Macroeconomics

    Commentary on 2024 Federal Budget

    Canada’s Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland tabled the 2024-25 federal budget on April 16. The one major revenue measures in the budget (a change in the partial inclusion rate for capital gains income above a threshold of $250,000 per year) has sparked great outrage from powerful financial interests – but will have no direct impact on 99.9% of personal tax filers...

  • Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Macroeconomics

    Austerity Can Make Debt Problems Worse

    The health and economic side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused major deficits, at both the federal and provincial levels of government. With vaccinations continuing and the economy rebounding, many commentators now argue for a quick retrenchment in government spending to reduce deficits and debt. Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford recently presented to the CARE Conference at Memorial University in St. John’s, Nfld., on the outlook for public finances after the pandemic. A commentary based on his presentation is published here, part of the Fair Reset blog series hosted by the Newfoundland & Labrador Federation of Labour. And a video recording of his presentation has also been posted…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Fiscal Policy,  Gender and Work

    Podcast on the Federal Budget, Early Child Education, and the Recovery from COVID

    Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford was a guest in this post-budget special edition of The Herle Burly podcast, hosted by David Herle. He and fellow panelists Dr. Kate Bezanson (from Brock University) and Peter Nicholson (former head of policy for the PMO) dissected the budget’s eye-popping deficit forecast, whether deficits matter, and the economic importance of universal high-quality early child education. Watch the full discussion here. https://youtu.be/fC92ZAs4P5g Budget Panel: Bezanson, Nicholson, Stanford + the Political Panel: Byrne and Reid | The Herle Burly

  • Commentary,  Fiscal Policy,  Gender and Work

    National Child Care Roll-Out Will Boost Economy More Than Budget Estimates

    Today’s federal government pledge to implement a national affordable child care program will significantly accelerate Canada’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and recession, according to research from the Vancouver-based Centre for Future Work. And the Centre suggests that the resulting boost to output and employment will be significantly larger than estimated by today’s federal budget. “Universal high-quality early child education is a vital ingredient in a high-performance economy, and this plan will spark job-creation and income growth across the country,” said Dr. Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work. “In fact, the improvements in employment and GDP growth arising from the plan are likely to be…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Fiscal Policy,  Public Sector Work

    The Role of the Public Sector in Rebuilding After COVID-19

    Canadians have understandably turned to government for protection and support during the COVOD-19 pandemic. But the public sector will also need to play a vital role in leading the reconstruction of Canada’s economy once the pandemic has subsided.  This has been emphasized in previous Centre for Future Work research, including our PowerShare report on how work must be improved after COVID, and Jim Stanford’s call for a ‘post-war’ economic rebuilding strategy led by expansive government investment. In this feature interview with Cory Hare for ATA News (the journal of the Alberta Teachers’ Association), Jim Stanford explains why expanded public sector investment, service provision, and hiring will be vital to continued…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Fiscal Policy

    The Debt Monsters are Awakening … but Don’t be Afraid

    For the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional voices of fiscal austerity were largely silent – even as governments began to incur very large deficits in response to the pandemic. More recently, however, prominent advocates of balanced-budgets and debt reduction have renewed calls for spending restraint. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford explains why current deficits are not so “spooky” – and why focusing on deficit-reduction would make the recession worse. Trick-or-treating has been banned in several cities this Hallowe’en to limit the spread of COVID-19. But a rag-tag swarm of frightening creatures has nevertheless come out to frighten Canadians: with spooky stories…

  • Fiscal Policy,  Industry & Sector,  Macroeconomics,  Research

    The Broken Promises of Corporate Tax Cuts

    The pace of business capital spending in Canada has been weak in recent years, for several reasons – including the slowdown in the petroleum industry, the erosion of Canadian manufacturing, and now the impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic and recession. This has spurred a resurgence of demands from the business community for lower company tax rates, which advocates claim will accelerate business capital spending. In this analysis, published originally by the Canadian Tax Foundation, Centre for Future Work Director Jim Stanford agrees that stimulating more capital investment (both private and public) is a vital goal. But there is no evidence from either recent Canadian history or international comparisons that…