There are better ways to help student loan borrowers than zero-interest loans

Student Loans

The NDP and the Liberals have both announced promises to set a zero interest rate on student loan debt. The idea is to help former students who are struggling to repay their loans. But this will not help those most in need — borrowers in the Repayment Assistance Program (RAP) who already pay zero interest, as well as borrowers in default who are at risk of financial penalties. Read this articleThere are better ways to help student loan borrowers than zero-interest loans

The Liberals’ plan for first-time homeowners is a good start but should be more equitable

Housing

The FHSA would cost up to $1.4 billion annually, but much of the benefit would likely go to high-income households. Changes to the proposed program would make it more fair and more likely to encourage private savings by prospective first-time homebuyers. Read this articleThe Liberals’ plan for first-time homeowners is a good start but should be more equitable

The Conservative plan for a GST tax holiday in December should be expanded to help the recovery

Conservative Leader Erin O'Toole proposes a GST holiday in December.

Cutting the GST for a short time won’t do much to make life more affordable for families, and it will do nothing to beat inflation. But a GST holiday would get consumers spending more. That would give the economy a boost it might well need, as the recovery faces headwinds this fall from a possibly resurgent coronavirus and from economic shocks in the rest of the world. Read this articleThe Conservative plan for a GST tax holiday in December should be expanded to help the recovery

Unpacking the Conservative Party’s proposal to boost health transfers to the provinces

Erin O'Toole unveils the Conservative Party's platform for the 2021 federal election.

The Conservative Party of Canada proposes to increase the growth rate of the Canada Health Transfer to at least six per cent per year for a decade. We explore the implications of this for overall health transfers and for provincial governments. Read this articleUnpacking the Conservative Party’s proposal to boost health transfers to the provinces

Which federal party has the best plan for getting Canadians back to work?

Canada job-creation

We tend to give other voters the advice to ask themselves the following of any proposal: What problem do we want policy to address and can this policy succeed? In our view, a key policy challenge is reducing long-term joblessness. Read this articleWhich federal party has the best plan for getting Canadians back to work?

UPDATE: Surplus stripping and the new, costly tax loophole for intergenerational transfers

Canadian tax forms

Part I: A recently approved private member’s bill is deeply flawed and opens the floodgates to aggressive surplus stripping schemes. It should be fixed. Read this articleUPDATE: Surplus stripping and the new, costly tax loophole for intergenerational transfers

Canada should harmonize tax credits to enhance fairness and efficiency

using a calculator for taxes

Our proposal represents an incremental step in the direction of a basic income guarantee. Harmonizing the main income tax credits, making the base and tax-back rate suitably progressive, and ensuring they are all refundable would form the basis for a modest basic income. Read this articleCanada should harmonize tax credits to enhance fairness and efficiency

Are the rich really getting poorer in Canada?

The rise of small-business incorporation is suppressing taxable incomes of rich Canadians. The growing gulf between top personal tax rates and the low rates paid by small CCPCs is driving the rise of incorporation. Read this articleAre the rich really getting poorer in Canada?