The OECD pokes at every sacred cow in Canada

If you are so inclined there is a very detailed analysis of the Canadian economy and recommendations for improvment from the OECD. You can read it here. If you have access, you can read Jeffrey Simpson’s assessment here. The report brings up the age old criticism of Canada’s regional EI system (what’s new) but it also heavily criticizes Canada’s agriculture subsidy system which is far more lucrative to western farmers than the EI program is to Atl. Canada. It also would like to see Alberta make changes that are unlikely to happen.

I don’t think Canadian governments put too much stock in OECD reports. In the early 1990s, the OECD said one of the the biggest challenges to Canada’s economic growth would be its lack of successful regional development efforts. Since then, federal and provincial spending on economic development as a percentage of government spending has dropped precipitously.

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0 Responses to The OECD pokes at every sacred cow in Canada

  1. mikel says:

    On that vein, I was reading comments at the CBC, and somebody made a derogatory remark about NB’s workforce and one fellow had a link (which I couldn’t follow because it was cut off) to a HRDC site that said that Toronto has a higher unemployment rate than New Brunswick, and that Torontonians need fewer weeks to qualify for MORE benefits under the EI program. IF that’s true, and it would be worth checking out, thats a sacred cow that needs…I’m not going to say that because that’s just disgusting dude…get Mr. Bruce to come up with your metaphors!:)

  2. Anonymous says:

    Could this tax load be possibly true?
    I also must say I appreciate David Campbells insite,the more I learn.
    Because I know he would say,anybody who pays half his salary in taxes should quit and form a religion or other tax avoidable scams.

    We’re still more than six months from Christmas, but only now are Canadians beginning to work for themselves, according to the Fraser Institute.

    Since 1977, the Vancouver-based think-tank has offered up the Canadian version of Tax Freedom Day.

    The concept represents a simplistic reference point that calculates by formula, using various statistics, the government’s tax load on its citizens.

    It includes not only income tax and sales tax, but also factors in municipal, fuel and sin taxes for items such as alcohol and tobacco. The think-tank then ties the tax load to average income and calculates when these various bills are satisfied.

    This year, Canadians punched out last Friday evening from paying their taxes and on Saturday began to work for themselves. This is four days earlier than last year.

    However, New Brunswickers are ahead of the curve on this calculation. This year our tax freedom day was June 3 – ahead of June 7 last year and second only to Alberta (May 28) in Canada.

    While we often feel burdened by the various charges and levies we pay, I thought I’d throw out some of the institute’s findings for New Brunswick.

    The Fraser Institute describes the concept of cash income as total income including wages, pensions, interest and dividends. It figures the average family (with two or more individuals) in New Brunswick has cash income of $71,807 in 2008 – up from $69,934 last year.

    The total tax load for this family is $30,007. This is partly comprised of $9,874 worth of income tax, $5,305 worth of sales taxes, $2,670 in property taxes and sin taxes totaling $1,955.

    When compared to the 2007 survey, the average tax load for New Brunswick families has increased a measly $103.

    The total tax bill represents about 41.8 per cent of the average income. We send $16,210 to Ottawa, $12,066 to Fredericton and $1,525 to our local municipality.

    Interestingly enough, the Fraser Institute calculates that New

  3. Anonymous says:

    We need a regional development agency, with funding, if we want to grow at a rate beyond what normally occurs.

    ACOA has deteroriated to a political welfare agency funding municipal projects, trade missions (government travel) and universities (who have numerous other federal sources).

    We need an effort focused directly on ED.

  4. mikel says:

    The anonymous post said pretty much what I was going to. I can add that there is another perspective-no matter when the tax freedom day is, the rest of the year you are enjoying your FREE roads, educational system, police, fire, roads and road construction, regulatory system, etc.

    But there is this:

    “To determine family income, the Fraser Institute uses a family’s cash income—a much more limited definition of income—rather than a family’s total income before taxes. This gives the impression that Canadian families pay much more of their income in taxes than they actually do, and also ensures that tax freedom day falls much later in the year than it would if a more accurate method of calculating tax burden had been used. In 2004, according to the Institute, the average family paid over 48% of its total income in taxes and tax freedom day fell on June 28. However, if the Institute had based its calculations on an average family’s total income, only about 31% of that family’s income would have gone to taxes and tax freedom day would have fallen on April 30—58 days earlier.”

    And again, ‘averages’ dont’ do too much. Average an irving and a single mom and you get a very distorted view of the ‘average’. If you have a lot of rich (or a few VERY rich) and a lot of poor, you’ll think you have a society of ‘middle class’ when nothing is further from the truth.