A Spending Framework for Alberta: Balancing the Need for Deficit Elimination and Tax Reform finds that the Alberta government could balance its budget by 2021/22—and create the fiscal room for much-needed tax relief—if program spending were cut by 10.9 per cent over the next three years. While a 10.9 per cent spending reduction would be significant, it is substantially smaller than the reductions implemented by the Klein government in the 1990s. It would also bring Alberta’s per-person spending closer into line with neighbouring British Columbia, which currently spends 21 per cent less per person than Alberta does.
Canada’s Rising Personal Tax Rates and Falling Tax Competitiveness finds that Canadian workers across the income spectrum—and across the country—pay significantly higher personal income taxes than their American counterparts. In fact, at incomes of $50,000, $150,000 and $300,000, among all 61 provinces and states in Canada and the U.S., the 10 highest combined personal income tax rates are in the 10 Canadian provinces.
Effective Tax and Royalty Rates on New Investment in Oil and Gas after Canadian and American Tax Reform finds that, despite the federal government’s recent (albeit temporary) investment incentive measures, the effective tax rate on new investment in the oil and gas sectors are uncompetitive in two of Canada’s major energy-producing provinces: Saskatchewan and B.C. In fact, Saskatchewan has the highest taxes on new investment in both oil and gas among all major energy-producing jurisdictions in North America, and B.C. has the second-highest tax rate on new gas investments in Canada.
What Happens to the Federal Deficit if a Recession Occurs in 2019? finds that the federal government’s projected 2019/20 deficit of $19.6 billion will automatically reach between $28 and $34 billion if a recession hits this year, even before the government pursues any discretionary spending, for example, stimulus spending.
Education Spending and Public School Enrolment in Canada, 2019 finds that spending on public schools across Canada increased in every province over the past decade by an average of 17.3 per cent, on a per-student basis, after adjusting for inflation. Nominally, spending increased from about $49 billion in 2006/07 to nearly $65 billion in 2015/16, the most recent year of available Statistics Canada data. Teacher and staff compensation (salaries, pensions and benefits) accounted for 84 per cent of that increased spending, rising from $35 billion to more than $48 billion over the same 10-year period.
Assessing British Columbia’s Tax Competitiveness finds that B.C. now has the ninth highest top combined personal income tax rate in Canada and the United States, which hurts the province’s ability to compete with neighbouring jurisdictions for skilled-workers and investment. The province also has the highest taxes on business investment anywhere in Canada.
Prime Ministers and Government Spending, 2019 tracks annual per person program spending (adjusted for inflation) by prime ministers since Confederation, and finds that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has now recorded two of the three years with the highest levels of government spending in Canadian history, including times of war and recession. The all-time high was recorded by Prime Minister Stephen Harper during the 2009 recession.