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Mark Dowling
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One of the reasons for the catastrophic change in fortunes of the Irish economy was the decision of many of the European immigrant workers who had caused an upward spike in population numbers to leave. This combined with a massive borrowing increase to deal with a yawning deficit due to the disappearance of the taxes the property sector was spewing into the Government finances has turned a country with a low debt/GDP ratio into a basket case in three years. Because much of Canada's immigration and therefore population growth is based on family ties it is unlikely to be halted quite as abruptly.
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"What about immigration? If Canada really wants to change the composition of its population, it can do so." Get an MP to stand up in the HoC and propose the ending of family class sponsorship of parents over the age of 60 and ratchet down the maximum points age bracket for skilled workers (currently 10 points between 21-49, dropping to 0 by 54 which is a bit abrupt), and prioritising skilled worker applications from those aged 25-35. See what happens.
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What I would like to know is why this is proported to be a federal responsibility. As Quebec showed if a province wants to get cheap childcare done (albeit backed by equalization money) it will do it. (Also is it me or is WCI brutally slow today...?)
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Krugman is not permitted by NYT rules to sign petitions - see his blog
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@WCI folks - as we're talking about sales tax, any chance of a post about how Ontario is selling harmonization with one-off cheques and so on? Interested to see your take on what the end result will be once the interim measures wear off.
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Too much fed - count me in as one of those puzzled by your linkage of outsourcing and corporate taxes. I suspect one *might* link corporate flight and corp taxes, but in a direct rather than your inverse relationship.
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@Patrick - as a Canadian Permanent Resident I have had the beady eye of US Customs Homeland whatever long before now, welcome to the club. All they require of Canadians is a passport, not an I-90 form which requires a visit to the facility (at least at Queenston). The municipalities around Buffalo are highly sensitive to a drop in sales tax from Canadian visitors so there's plenty of pushback against throttling incoming Canadian shoppers. @reason - have you forgotten that one of the best reasons to shop in the US is a cheap fill-up?
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Hiking consumption taxes is problematic in an economy where the vast majority of people live within reasonable distance of a jurisdiction with much lower ones. This leads to spending flight and resentment of customs (US-Canada) or just spending flight in a customs union (Ireland-Northern Ireland). The impact on Republic of Ireland retail created by the hiking of Southern VAT to 21.5pc and the reduction of GB+NI VAT to 15pc has been marked, especially since the Pound tanked and the Euro appreciated. By contrast, you can get away with high rates in Scandinavia because the tax differentials are much less pronounced. One thing the Republic of Ireland has is multiple VAT rates (apart from zero rated items). While most things clock in at 21.5pc (included/not broken out at sticker and register), some services attract 13.5pc and agricultural goods 4.8pc. The NDP could deal with the backlash on a consumption tax by creating a lower GST/HST rate on electricity and other items to which the lower-income groups are most price sensitive.
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Alex, couple of points. First of all, I entirely agree with the commenter above that it's quite the leap to compare the amount spent on cancer drugs (not cancer treatment - radiotherapy, surgery etc not to mention diagnosis and post-care - just chemo) with administrative overhead. That would be like comparing board salaries at Arsenal with the cost of hiring transport to get the players to games. Second, there is an economic argument for state provision of basic healthcare - it's good for business. The recent downturn in the US has highlighted the difference in costs for businesses operating in the US and Canada. In Canada, where businesses offer healthcare to their employees it only covers dental, optical and some elective treatments whereas in the US that cost is a multiple because it must cover virtually all basic health procedures in addition to the Canadian offering. This means that despite a higher tax rate, operating costs north of the border have been shown to be lower in some sectors such as manufacturing where healthcare is ordinarily provided. Finally, maybe you should ask your Irish friends how hard it is to qualify for NHS-style coverage and for those that don't how much it costs to see a doctor (before prescription costs). This university advises its students of a likely 55 euro charge - that's 47 pounds 34 to you, according to Mr. Google's handy converter.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2009 on The NHS debate continues at CentreRight
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