The CWB increases supports lower-income workers, and recent enhancements have made it more generous. The change also allows for the addition of new beneficiaries, which is particularly important for dual-earning couples. However, the reform also increased the effective tax on earned income for some workers, and therefore potentially lowers the incentive to work. This is especially notable for couples with children where two spouses work. Read this articleDoes the Canada Workers Benefit enhancement achieve its purpose?
In 2016, the government of Canada introduced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a large income-tested transfer to families with children. Our research shows it works well for low-income Canadians but causes a significant decrease in hours worked by secondary earners in middle-income families. We argue the CCB could be better-targeted toward low-income households. Read this articleIs the Canada Child Benefit an effective policy? Impacts on earnings and incomes
That fact that the phrase “immigrants have parents” needs to be said reveals something about the framing of Canadian immigration policy: the tendency to see immigrants as production units, bits of human capital to slot into the Canadian economy and to fill Canadian skill shortages or to provide top talent. Read this articleIncreased immigration cannot solve Canada’s aging issues because immigrants have parents, too
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?
The federal government is right to extend its fiscal programs supporting businesses and workers through the pandemic because of the good it’s doing for part-time and temporary workers. Read this articleCanada’s Pandemic Response and Flexible Employees
On January 28, the BC Expert Panel on Basic Income issued its final report. Media coverage of the report naturally focussed mainly on what the panel did not recommend – a basic income program – but the report offers far more than that. Read this articleBasic Income or Welfare Reform? A summary of the BC Basic Income Panel Report
Rather than wringing our hands about if and when the federal government plans to balance the budget or about the lack of a fiscal anchor to discipline federal spending, we should take the opportunity to assess the costs of decades of austerity light and have the long overdue debate about the role of debt and taxes in meeting the crises ahead and building the Canada we want. Read this articleMore Federal Debt Can Help Build a Better Canada
This is the second commentary in a three-part series examining ideas for reforming Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program. This commentary discusses the need for the EI program to provide comprehensive insurance against various forms of income loss. The First commentary, on the need for EI to be better designed to insure against big shocks, can be found here. Read this articleAn Employment Insurance system for the 21st century: Lesson 2, The future of work calls for better income insurance
This is the first commentary in a three-part series examining ideas for reforming Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) program. This commentary argues that the program as presently constituted is not well-designed to provide adequate support for households that suffer large and enduring negative income shocks. Read this articleAn Employment Insurance system for the 21st century: Lesson 1, Big shocks matter
The federal government has overcompensated Canadians for their lockdown-related income losses. The amount of money involved is substantial. Although overcompensation does not seem to have been a policy objective at the outset, it has been embraced. This expensive flaw in Canada’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic compromises fairness and limits options for using fiscal policy to strengthen the recovery. Read this articleOvercompensation of Income Losses: A Major Flaw in Canada’s Pandemic Response