|Print Version||Budget & Government Agenda|
As announced yesterday, $725 million will be returned to taxpayers in personal income tax cuts. My goodness. That does sound significant ... well done, Mr. Harper, and thank you. Very good indeed; this sounds much more like the fiscal prudence I'd expect from a Conservative government and one of the signals I've been waiting for ever since the (pardon my language) liberal budget you introduced last March.
So, how exactly does it play out in terms of my own personal income taxes? Although I read your speech, I didn't see any details in that regard. Well, that's OK, because Budget 2007 is still up on the web. It's easy enough, really, to see how much in total you expect to collect this year from personal income taxes. That way, I should be able to figure out how big this $725 million is, and therefore make some kind of estimate regarding its impact on individual personal income tax payers like me.
Hmmm, the Budget says you expect to collect over $115 billion in personal taxes this year. That's interesting. Let's see now, $725 million divided by $115 billion ... why, that's just over 0.5%. So, is that what I can expect? Assuming of course that you apply it all to the lowest income tax bracket so everyone gets to participate. Oh dear, that doesn't sound quite as significant as I thought it was. Hey, wait a minute ... Budget 2007 predicted at least $1 billion in tax reductions a year ... at least that would have got me closer to a 1% reduction. And what is this you said yesterday? Something about having "spent less than we budgeted - 700 million dollars lower than we had projected even in the March budget." Is that why environmental monitoring has been slashed by 80% (see earlier blog, Faith-based Environmental Policy)?
I don't know, it's all a bit confusing. Ah well, maybe I should just stop fretting. After all, one half of one percent is better than nothing ... I guess.
Posted On Oct 03 09:22AM
I never thought government should be a "for profit" enterprise, but with all these surpluses, I am beginning to wonder. Although on the federal scene, all the cuts to women's programs and associations could have been avoided, it seems. But probably not for this government. They didn't like them, and they were not having them - even if we could afford them and they were needed.
Posted On Sep 28 02:33PM
Corporate was clearly much greater than was expected in the last year. It is hard to budget for a windfall.
The wonderful thing about paying down the budget is that the expense is reduced forever. It is only 750 milion next year, but is 75 billion over the next 100 years.
Posted On Sep 28 10:52AM
Is this Throne Speech protocol? i.e an attempt to use spin to gain favour with the public? hmmmm
Next he will speak out on climate change like George W. Bush today and promote nulcelar energy as a good thing.
Soon we will be seeing those old TV adds with a suburban family in the backyard of their mid century home, 2.5 kids and a dog, bbqing on the back patio (bbq paid for by tax credits received) with a nuclear power plant in the bacground.
Posted On Sep 28 10:43AM
On the whole, I'm a fan of balanced budgets and debt loads that are reasonable (so that interest payments don't use up too much of the annual revenues). However, I expect that kind of fiscal management to occur at the same time as the government is spending money on programs that benefit all Canadians. Many such programs are undertaken by gov'ts because they're too big for any one individual or corporation to handle, or or because we want an impartial 3rd party to administer the program, or because they benefit everyone and so gov't acts as our collective agent to deliver a service that we all need. In choosing which programs to support, gov'ts inevitably must make choices and decide on priorities. Sometimes they get the balance right; at other times they miss.
At the moment, I'm not too comfortable with the choices that Mr. Harper is making. I particularly didn't like his comment about spending $700 million less than predicted 6 months ago. For sure some of that money would have been stripped out of Environment Canada's budget. Other programs have been slashed as well (charter challenge program, e.g.) Instead we all get this 1/2 of one % of a tax cut (the Globe says it amounts to about $35 a year). That's money that will be frittered away instead of aggregated and put to a useful purpose such as environmental monitoring. I think we need different priorities, and this Conservative government is failing to do what is best for Canada's long term interests.