Canada

Financially distressed families should receive more kickbacks, wealthy ‘nil’: The Economist

Economist Joel Bruneau said, “I wanted to see struggling families get $1,000 per adult and wealthy Saskatchewan residents down to zero.”

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When $500 checks start flooding the mailboxes of eligible Saskatchewan residents this fall, some will desperately need cash, others won’t.

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Joel Bruneau, dean of economics at the University of Saskatchewan, said Tuesday that while the government’s affordability plan is not bad, more dollars could have been spent to help those in more dire circumstances. .

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“I think this has a lot more to do with politics than economics, because I think it’s a little bit imaginative,” Bruneau said in an interview. “The economic benefit of this rebate would be relatively small.”

The state, announced Tuesday, said it is spending $450 million to provide one-time $500 checks to people over the age of 18. All residents who have filed their 2021 tax returns are eligible.

While the government hailed the plan as helping those coping with the high costs, Bruneau said the state could have used other tax measures to ensure benefits for those most in need. said that there is

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He explained that the state of Saskatchewan could work with the federal government to tie the rebate to income.That way, wealthy families would be disqualified and low-income families would receive the larger $450 million. could have gotten a portion.

He said inflation would hit people on the lower end of the economic spectrum hard. They are the people who need the most help.

“If you want to help a family in need, identify a family in need, and want to help a family in need, that’s my preference,” he said. I wanted to get $1,000 per person and see wealthy Saskatchewan residents go down to zero.”

Financial commentator Trent Wotherspoon also highlighted the discrepancies on Tuesday.

He said single parents with three children would technically receive less affordable rebates, while childless couples would receive more.

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“It’s certainly not fair on this front because it’s expensive to raise children in Saskatchewan right now,” Wotherspoon said. “It’s really wrong to keep kids out of that kickback. It’s unfair to families in Saskatchewan.”

Similarly, some people experiencing homelessness have expressed concern that they may not be able to receive rebates because they do not have a mailing address.

When asked how people experiencing homelessness can get reimbursement, Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said community organizations and social workers could help them file their taxes. said.

She said the rebates are being distributed in a “very fair and equitable manner.”

“Everyone in Saskatchewan owns a resource, and everyone in Saskatchewan benefits from this one-time tax credit,” Harpauer said.

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Treasurer Donna Harpauer at a press conference on the Saskatchewan Budget in March 2022.
Treasurer Donna Harpauer at a press conference on the Saskatchewan Budget in March 2022. Photo by KAYLE NEIS /Regina Leader Post

But Bruneau argued that the impact could have been greater if $450 million had been targeted.

He said some two-parent households could use the $1,000 to pay bills, but households that don’t need cash are more likely to keep it in savings accounts. .

“That’s the position I’m in,” he said. “They give me a check for him for $500. It just goes straight to the bank.”

When cash is in banks, it’s not stimulating the economy, he said.

“This is a shotgun approach,” he said. “Anyone can get $500.

As part of the updated fiscal plan, the state is paying off $1 billion in state debt. The move is expected to save her $61 million in annual interest costs.

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Bruneau said this should allow the government to offer some flexibility in spending on social programs and tax cuts in the future.

But he added that he was not surprised that the government chose not to use the windfall on education and health. It is unclear how long resource usage will remain high.

“If you don’t have a plan, reducing debt is a very good plan B,” he said.

jsimes@postmedia.com

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Financially distressed families should receive more kickbacks, wealthy ‘nil’: The Economist

Source link Financially distressed families should receive more kickbacks, wealthy ‘nil’: The Economist

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