Tuesday, March 20, 2007

And the results... D-

Okay, let's see if my list of "demands" were met. Then again, I already vote Conservative, so why continue to pander to me, right?

- Raise the personal exemption to $20,000 - really, can anyone earning below this amount afford to pay?

Was the personal exemption even raised at all? I really think there should be an automatic mechanism in place that at least matches inflation.

- Lower the bottom income tax rate from 15.5% to 10%

Nope. It's still 15.5%.

- Lower the middle income tax rate from (34%??) to 25%

If they never lower the bottom rate, they'll never lower the middle rate.

- Move the trigger income for the highest rate bracket to $150,000, not what $67,000 as it is now?

Nope.

- Lowered capital gains taxes (I have stocks)

Nope.

- Any debt payment interest savings go to tax cuts (which I hear is what's going to happen).

Um, hello? (tumbleweed passes by...)

So what DO we have for tax reduction?

  • A new $2,000 child tax credit will provide up to $310 of tax relief for each child under 18.
  • A new $550-million-per-year Working Income Tax Benefit that will provide up to $500 per year for individuals and $1,000 for families to reward and strengthen incentives to work.
  • Increasing the age limit to 71 from 69 for registered retirement savings
    plans and registered pensions.
  • Overall taxes for eligible pensioners will be reduced by allowing pension income splitting as promised in October when the government decided to tax income trusts.
  • New resources to the Canada Revenue Agency to detect and close down tax
    avoidance through offshore tax havens.

The Conservatives have become social-engineers extraordinaire, but with a family focus, so I'm for that. But the libertarian in me wished there were more broad based tax reductions.

And not only are they family based social-engineers, but are doubling as vehicle engineers too. Check out the crazy tax incentive scheme for new vehicle purchases!

To begin with, new automobiles with a combined fuel consumption rating of 6.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres or less; and minivans, SUVs and light pickup trucks with a consumption rate of 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres, or less, will be eligible for the rebate.

The basic rebate amount will be $1,000, and an additional $500 will be added for each half-litre per 100-kilometre improvement in the combined fuel-efficiency rating of the vehicle below the threshold.

The rebate will max-out at $2,000, and vehicles purchased or leased March 20 and later will qualify.

Following are a list of the rebates for various vehicles (fuel efficiency rating in brackets):

Toyota Prius: $2,000 (4.1)
Honda Civic Hybrid: $2,000 (4.5)
Toyota Corolla: $1,000 (6.3)
Mini Cooper M6: $1,000 (6.5)
Ford Escape HEV 4x4: $2,000 (7.4)
Saturn Vue Hybrid: $1,000 (7.9)
Chevrolet Impala: $1,000 (12.3)

..

The budget also imposes a "green levy" on new gas-guzzling passenger vehicles, excluding trucks.

A charge of $1,000 will be levied on Canadians who purchase new vehicles with
fuel-efficiency ratings of between 13 and 14 litres per 100 kilometres. The levy
will increase by $1,000 for each full litre above the 13-litre benchmark, to a
maximum of $4,000.

This is a very progressive positive environmental incentive for auto buyers. It literally blows my mind how the auto industry hasn't produced more efficient big vehicles, when you know they can with the technology we have today. But let's see if this scheme actually works. Will buyers be aware of this incentive and will the auto industry adjust their engineering to follow suit?

Politically, this is a very saavy budget. Apparently, the big item was simply to "solve" the provincial fiscal imbalance (read: buy votes in Quebec). So now that's "solved", will the next budget solve the other fiscal imbalance. You know, the people who help buy the votes in Quebec -- i.e. middle class taxpayers.

You know, now that the Conservatives are addicted to tax incentives, I'm starting to think of another way to encourage people to work and boost the middle class.

Maybe the middle income tax rate should be lower than the bottom rate? But being that I wish the upper rate was more like it is in the U.S. at $200,000, this is a pipe dream.

Overall, there is nothing in this budget that does anything for a single income person trying to get ahead--not unless you get married and have kids and dance around or something. Hmmm.

Andrew Coyne sums up my feelings about this budget. Spin aside from fellow Conservatives: Dark Blue Tory and Noise From The Right, what's so "conservative" about this budget? I'd definitely say it looks more Liberal or very, very Red Tory.

This budget gets a "D-". Booooooooo!

2 comments:

HOLY said...

there's a fine line between genius and insanity...or the colours red and blue....

Anonymous said...

Alberta just got singled out and screwed in the worst way since the NEP. The cancellation of the ACCA has the potential to set the stage for recession down the road.

But, in cancelling it for the oil sands, guess who Flaherty extended it to - manufacturing, wonder where the manufacturing base is??