The same ruling party. The same manufactured crises brought into stark relief by a drop in oil prices. The same rhetoric about belt-tightening. The same refusal to look at real revenue solutions that could finally get the province off the oil price roller coaster. Year after year after year.
Alberta is the richest jurisdiction in North America. But women living in the province are among the most disadvantaged in Canada, facing higher income gaps, unpaid work gaps, and after-tax income gaps than women living anywhere else in the country.
Women in Alberta have been disproportionately impacted by the 2001 shift to a single rate tax regime in the province, and now face higher income gaps, unpaid work gaps, and after-tax income gaps than women in the rest of Canada, according to the findings of a comprehensive new report released today by the Parkland Institute.
Gender, Taxation, and Income Inequality
The Alberta government boasts in every budget that with its “Tax Advantage” program, Albertans pay the lowest taxes in Canada, and maybe even in North America. All personal and corporate incomes are taxed at a single 10-per-cent rate – except for small businesses, which pay a low 3-per-cent rate.
Budget cuts of 1990s did lasting damage
It’s curious how the proponents of the “cut first and ask questions later” approach to provincial budgeting continue trying to spread the myth Ralph Klein’s cuts in the 1990s were necessary, and that somehow Alberta and Albertans are better off because of them. It’s as if they believe that singing the same refrains over and over will make them true. But the reality is that these claims are as false today as they were back in 1993.
In response to the latest Alberta revenue crisis, Premier Jim Prentice has increasingly been beating the austerity drum. But is an austerity agenda the best way for the province to deal with the current fiscal crunch?
Alberta needs income and corporate tax reform
It has now been a couple of weeks since Alberta Premier Jim Prentice floated the idea of a provincial sales tax in a speech to the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) luncheon (a trial balloon which Albertans soon overwhelmingly deflated, according to a somewhat-questionable poll on the issue).
Earlier this month, Josh Bilyk, president of the Alberta Enterprise Group, wrote an op-ed piece critiquing Public Interest Alberta’s efforts to advocate for fair reforms to our province’s personal and corporate income tax systems and to discuss with Albertans how additional revenues could be used for the public good.