The Canadian House of Commons has charged its subcommittee on Finance to examine income inequality in Canada.
More specifically the Committee’s mandate is to produce a report that will:
- review Canada’s federal and provincial systems of personal income taxation and income supports;
- examine best practices that reduce income inequality and improve per capita gross domestic product;
- identify any significant gaps in the federal system of taxation and income support that contribute to income inequality;
- identify any significant disincentives to paid work in the formal economy that may exist as part of a “welfare trap;” and
- provide recommendations on how best to improve equality of opportunity and prosperity for all Canadians.
Its website contains the written submissions received by the April 5th deadline.
I will appear as a witness in a televised hearing beginning at 8:45 EDT on Thursday April 25th, 2013. The other witnesses slated to appear at the same meeting are listed here.
You can view it all here as Meeting 116 if you have an interest.
A copy of my written submission is available as a pdf: Corak_Submission_to_Finance_Committee.
2 thoughts on “Tax policy for equality and social mobility”
You might be interested in the work that Martin O’Neill is doing on “predistribution” – how public policy influences the distribution income within the market rather than redistributing market gains after they’re allocated. He’s a philosopher but his work is quite accessible and has intriguing implications for social mobility. Here’s a link to his book: http://www.amazon.com/Property-Owning-Democracy-Beyond-Martin-ONeill/dp/1444334107
Thank you. I will look that up. But if the general point is that the labour market is the major driver of inequality … well I certainly agree with that. Tax-Transfer policy on its own cannot fully address the issue. A clear statement of this in the Canadian context is summarized here: https://milescorak.com/2012/05/30/canadian-inequality-recent-development-and-policy-options/