Warning to Finance Ministers: leaving some workers out of an expanded CPP could boost precarious employment

Despite having had few good things to say about CPP expansion in the past, Business Council of Canada CEO John Manley and Chamber of Commerce CEO Perrin Beatty now grudgingly endorse a modest, targeted enhancement of the Canada Pension Plan.  But could a benefit enhancement targeted at modest income-earners lead to more temporary, part-time, and low-wage employment?

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Poor Health Care and Food Security among Factors that Determine Higher Mental Distress among Inuit

The social determinants of health, including income, health care services, food security and housing, shape the health of the Inuit population.

Inuit women had higher average mental distress scores than Inuit men, according to a recent Statistics Canada report on the social determinants of health of higher mental health distress among the Inuit. Difficulty accessing health care, low or very low food security, living with physical chronic conditions and moderate to weak family ties were the four key predictors of mental health distress among Inuit men and women. [Read more…]

TFSAs: Regressive and Inefficient

As reported by Blacklock’s last week, more detailed data on Tax-Free Savings Accounts was released by Canada Revenue Agency in response to an opposition question in the House of Commons. Rhys Kesselman and others have made the point that raising the contribution limit to $10,000 annually will reduce the tax system’s overall progressivity and add to the future costs of Old Age Security and the Guaranteed Income Supplement. The newly released numbers also underscore the fact that, despite claims that TFSAs facilitate saving for retirement, they are an inefficient vehicle for retirement saving, and a poor substitute for pensions when it comes to ensuring secure and adequate incomes in retirement.

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The Big Squeeze

Once you get past the hundreds of pages of budget documents, their carefully targeted baubles, the reactions, media commentary, the tweets and retweets, the promotional advertising and smoke and mirrors—if you’re still paying attention—there’s something basic underlying both federal and Ontario budgets neither admit to: the big squeeze on public spending is still on.

Austerity may be out of political fashion, but it’s clearly still in practice. They’ve just been doing it in slow-motion, hoping the public doesn’t notice.

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