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Policy issues that should be addressed over the coming years by the Department of Finance Canada - Essay Example

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The Canadian Department of Finance is the centre of many aspects of fiscal policy in Canada, such as drafting budgets, legislation, preparing reports and doing modelling for various kinds of tax codes and economic policies. While technically the vast majority of these powers rest with the legislature, the Department of Finance is staffed with experts in these fields, and give objective, non-partisan information to legislators and help legislators understand many aspects of its implications…
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Policy issues that should be addressed over the coming years by the Department of Finance Canada
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Download file to see previous pages Welfare is not traditionally something that is in the purview of the Canadian Department of Finance. Other social issues, however, such as strengthening and continuing investments in health care, post-secondary education and financial assistance, are a core part of its functions, so undertaking an attempt to aid low-income families is not something that is wildly outside of its mandate. Furthermore, a properly run welfare system can have great economic advantage for the country, increasing productivity, employees skill sets and so on, along with improving social conditions. In order to attempt to reform aid to low-income people and families without overstepping its bounds, the Canadian Department of Finance would have to channel its reform or assistance through one of its existing areas of expertise. A prime area for this change would be a somewhat radical overhaul to the tax system by introducing reverse taxes for incredibly low-income people and families to help them get out of poverty. A reverse tax would operate something like a guaranteed minimum income – if someone’s taxable income is below a certain threshold (the particular number would have to be negotiated) the reverse tax would kick in, giving money to those people to help compensate for their low income. One of the biggest problems with existing tax structures is the fact that many social help programs, from business expenses to college tuition, are only available in the form of tax deductions. For people who need this help the most, those with incredibly low incomes, these programs are completely inaccessible to people who do not make enough to have a high enough tax bracket to access those deductions. Existing welfare systems come with so many strings attached that they keep people in welfare, unable to take risks to get a better chance in life, so a reverse tax could also help people get out of welfare, as test programs for guaranteed minimum income programs have demonstrated feasible (). This proposal would have a variety of economic consequences. The first is obvious: higher taxes. In order to fund giving more money back to people who need it, taxes would have to be higher. Higher taxes have the possibility of limiting economic growth, so the best way to fund this program might be from sin taxes, and or from eliminating existing tax deductions to people who reach a certain income threshold, compensated hopefully by the economic gains of having a reverse tax (which will be discussed below). The bottom line is that systems of wealth exchange always have a degree of inefficiency to them, which means that a reverse tax will remove money, at least from the short term, from the economy. There are economic upsides to this scheme as well, however. One of the major ones is that if executed correctly, a reverse tax has the possibility of replacing much of the current welfare system, which is incredibly wasteful and has demonstrated little ability to get people off of welfare due to punishing rather than rewarding employment and having too much ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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