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Thoughts on the Tory budget...

I haven't actually read the budget, just a bunch of reports on it so far, so my impressions are just that - impressions. For what it's worth, here they are:
  • Income tax - this will buy votes from the middle class, which is doubtlessly the unstated goal of this budget. I haven't done the math yet to determine whether the 0.5% increase in the lowest tax rate is offset by the increase in the personal exemption, but I have a feeling it is, so at least the poorest might not be openly screwed. I might be wrong, though.
  • GST cut - this is bullshit. It will put so little money in our pockets in reality that it is barely worth mentioning. Yeah, yeah, as John Baird says if I buy a 30K car I'll save 300 bucks, but I don't know about him, I do that every six or seven years, so that's like 40 dollars a year - big fat deal. This is only here so they can tick a box off of the their promise list. Is there such a thing as a straw promise?
  • Corporate tax cut - I might be a commie or something, but I'm not getting a rosy glow over this - corporations received huge tax cuts already from the Liberals, so why more now? Oh yeah, that campaign war chest ain't gonna fill itself...
  • Childcare/daycare - If any single thing in this budget targets me specifically, with two kids under 6, this is it. That said, I have a sneaky feeling that by cutting back the federal funding that goes directly to daycares, any possible gains from that putative $100 per month (really ~$60 for us after income tax) is going to be offset by increased day care costs. It would only take about $3 per day to suck that up - and I'll bet that's headed our way. This is a nice bonus for those with a parent at home, but that ain't us.

What do you guys think? Consider this an open thread to air thoughts on the budget.

The income tax on the lower income is a lie. The Liberals set the rate at 15%, from 16% and the Cons put it back up to 15.5%..Quite a deduction for the low income!
The environment is almost a no-no with the cons and one of the biggest polluters are the oil companies and the cons aren't about to commit political suicide out west.

It's 15.5% on a smaller amount. I've done the math and the effective tax rate on the first $36,000 of a person's income is lower now.

The complete disregard for health care reflects the fact that the public panic has subsided - this is a political document, not a real plan.
That being said (and attempting [poorly] not to give too much away about myself), the Liberal government, under Bill C-48, was empowered to transfer money to the provinces for post- secondary education. The Province of Nova Scotia created Bill 207 in response, mandating what the estimated $25 million would be used for, including tuition reduction. The Conservative government has kept the intent, but changed the rules with the establishment of a PSE Infrastructure Trust Fund, eliminating any usefulness from our provincial law. If the amount, $14.4 Million per year that Nova Scotia stands to gain still seems like a lot, consider that we have the highest concentration of universities, and the oldest universities in Canada. The bill to perform deferred maintenance alone would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The textbook tax credit is a joke, and the only clause that may have some worth is the potential for improved access to student loans, and that's another kettle of fish altogether.
From this perspective, the budget gets a resounding, "meh."

Tory,
That's what the breakdown CTV put up on their website indicated, however I can't find what the actual increase to the personal deduction amounted to, just that they want to raise it to 10K by 2009. What is it this coming year?

It gets a 'meh' on the military side as well - as far as the Canadian Forces go, this budget is long on promise and short on delivery. There's a small pittance for the next two years and a promise of larger sums in 2008 - if the Tories are still in power then. As for all the rhetoric of Harper 'supporting the troops' in Afghanistan - this budget does nothing for them - they're not getting the strategic lift aircraft they need right now, they're not getting the new vehicles, and even the promised 10,000 new soldiers are going to be a minimum of 2 years in the pipeline before they'll be fit for deployment.

Our basic personal exemption has been lowered by the Cons for this year. This is from the fed's website: "The basic personal amount—the amount that an individual can earn without paying federal personal income tax—will be increased by $500 to $8,648 for the 2005 taxation year." (That was done by the Liberals.) "For the first half of 2006 it will then be increased by indexation plus a further $200, for a total of $9,039." (I'm not sure but I think this was from the Liberal budget also.) "The basic personal amount will be reduced by $400 to $8,639 on July 1, 2006 at the same time as the GST rate is reduced." (This is less than 2005.) "For the purpose of calculating personal income taxes for the 2006 taxation year, these two half-year amounts will be applied as an annual average of $8,839." (The amount from the Liberals would have been $9039.) "For 2007, the $8,639 amount will be increased by indexation plus an additional $100. For 2008, it will be increased by indexation plus an additional $200. For 2009, it will be increased by indexation plus the greater of $600 and the amount required to raise the basic personal amount to $10,000." (I don't know what the Liberals had planned for 2007 to 2009 but the Cons probably know that they don't have to stand by anything after 2007)

Thanks for the info, Susan. Would you mind posting the link to the site you got that from? I want to sit down and do a quick and dirty Excel analysis of this to get a feel for the real effects of the budget.

Yes, that is the kind of life I lead! :)

This is the URL for the budget:

http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget06/bp/bptoce.htm

Once we're fully cognizant of the fact that we're NOT getting tax cuts, then we will see that this budget is about what Harper is giving Bush -military and security spending - they've got to have been talking about something during those friendly chats. Now they're going to ramp up the fear mongering in Canada so the military industrial/spy technology industry is well-funded, and throw a billion or two at the drug companies by working the pandemic thing again and again. I so hope Canadians aren't as easily brainwashed as our southern neighbours - actually to the US's credit, they appear to be coming out of their propoganda induced hysteria.

Thanks for this, Susan.

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