Thursday, March 02, 2017

Thursday Evening Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Olivia Loveridge-Greene comments on new research showing how many workers may be forced to keep working into their 70s or beyond in order to be able to stay afloat. And Don Pittis explains why tax-free savings accounts and other giveaways to the wealthy won't do anything to help the people who most need an opportunity to save for retirement:
(S)ince the late Conservative finance minister Jim Flaherty adopted Kesselman's idea and introduced the tax-free savings account in 2009, research shows that neither it nor RRSPs are doing what economists had hoped and expected.

"Is the effect more saving or less saving?" Kesselman asks. Once all the studies are done, the results are "pretty mixed," he says.

Kesselman, who now holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Finance at Simon Fraser University, says the tax-free accounts aren't having their intended effect, with the danger they will once again be perceived, as the RRSP once was, as "tax relief for high earners."
Despite championing tax-free savings accounts more than a decade ago, Kesselman has changed his tune.

Since tax breaks have failed to motivate people to save for retirement, he has now reluctantly begun advocating a compulsory savings plan, under which savers are forced to contribute to a pension big enough to support themselves through their retirement.
- Meanwhile, Kate McGillivray reports on how exorbitant housing prices are driving an entire generation away from Toronto's core.

- Jubilee Debt Campaign highlights how the UK's disastrous experience with high-priced P3s should serve as a warning to the rest of the world. And Thomas Walkom notes that Ontario's NDP is rightly looking to reverse any push toward privatization - unlike the Libs who prefer to lock in more corporate payoffs.

- Martin Kenney discusses Canada's shameful role in facilitating global tax evasion. And Harvey Cashore, Kimberly Ivany, Frederic Zalac and Gillian Findlay report on KPMG's tax dodges in particular.

- Finally, Katie Hyslop points out that even in an election-year budget, Christy Clark's B.C. Libs couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to deal with child poverty. CBC offers a reminder as to how poverty affects a child's ability to learn in school. And Patrick Butler examines the close link between child poverty and family disruption as children are taken into state care.

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