Posts Tagged “Canadians”

Only 6 Countries Have Sound Pension Systems, Luckily Canada IS On The List

012th Dec 2011Canadians, Freedom, Retirement, Savings, , , , , , , ,

Only 6 Countries Have Sound Pension Systems, And America Isn’t On The List

Andrew Shen and Gus Lubin

Only six national pension systems earned a ‘B’ grade on Mercer’s 2011 global index, which was given to systems with “sound structure” and “room for improvement.”

The best systems are in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the UK.

Every other pension system was rated as unsound, jeopardizing the future of the elderly population. The U.S. earned a C grade, signifying “some major risks and/or shortcomings.”

Canada — rated “B”

Adequacy: 74.1/100

Sustainability: 55.8/100

Integrity: 79.7/100

“B” refers to: A system that has a sound structure, with many good features, but has some areas for improvement that differentiate it from an A-grade system. Adequacy is an index based on funding. Sustainability is based on demographic trends. Integrity refers to private-sector plans.


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Business Braced For Sales Tax Chaos In BC

03rd Sep 2011Business News, Canadians, Money, Tax, Taxation, Taxes, , , ,


by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

02 September 2011

British Columbia’s decision to scrap the harmonized sales tax (HST) system has provoked a mixed reaction from the business community, but opinion is largely unanimous that businesses and the government alike must think about making the transition back to the provincial and general sales tax regime as smooth as possible.

The Canadian province currently operates an HST system, under which the 7% provincial sales tax (PST) and the 5% federal general sales tax (GST) are blended to create an overall HST rate of 12%. The HST regime was introduced last year and a long and frequently bitter campaign to have it revoked reached its height during the recent referendum to decide the tax’s future. The referendum – the results of which were announced on August 26 – resulted in a 54.73% majority for those wishing to reintroduce the PST/GST.

According to Finance Minister Kevin Falcon the 12% PST/GST will be duly reinstated. The transition period is expected to take at least 18 months, and British Columbia will have to repay a CAD1.6bn transition payment provided by the federal government when the HST was first introduced.

The overriding reaction to the results is an awareness that businesses will need to prepare for the impact of the transition. As summed up by KPMG, businesses need to begin thinking about the system changes they will be required to make, and will need to assess the overall financial effect of the reintroduction of the PST/GST. Jock Finlayson, Executive Vice President of the Business Council of British Columbia added that “businesses and the government will face direct and indirect costs and lost revenues in the billions of dollars as the province shifts back” to the old system.

There is understandably a great deal of disappointment among those who fought against the reinstatement of the PST/GST. One issue raised is that of British Columbia’s competitiveness and the damage the uncertainty of a transitional sales tax regime will cause. Finlayson regards the PST/GST as an “inefficient and cumbersome retail sales tax”, and said that the decision “poses a risk to the province’s reputation as a stable jurisdiction in which to do business”. In addition, the construction industry in particular is fearful of the impact on job creation, where the HST was seen as beneficial to bolstering employment.

On the other hand, those representing the restaurant industry expressed relief that the debate over the HST has at last drawn to a close. Mark von Schellwitz, Western Canada Vice President of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association said that adding the 7% provincial tax to all restaurant food had created an unlevel playing field, adding that his members welcomed the return of “certainty and food tax fairness”.

According to Falcon’s ministry, the government has established an action plan to guide the transition process back to the PST/GST regime. Falcon has also clarified that: “We will work as quickly as we responsibly can to return to the PST. We have always been clear that, as the independent panel found, dismantling the B.C. HST and returning to the PST will take time to do properly. I can assure British Columbians PST will not be applied to such items as restaurant meals, haircuts, bikes and gym memberships – just as it was before the HST was introduced in B.C.”



Business Braced For Sales Tax Chaos In BC.

It’s Tax Freedom Day, but only death brings real tax freedom

06th Jun 2011Canadians, Freedom, Money, Savings, Tax, Taxation, Taxes, , , , , , ,

By Gordon Clark, The Province June 5, 2011

Stick a candle in a cake and blow it out: we’ve all got something to celebrate. (On second thought, you’d better not light those candles. You don’t want to add to your carbon footprint.)

If you believe the Fraser Institute (and who doesn’t?) Monday is Tax Freedom Day in British Columbia, the day “the average Canadian family has earned enough money to pay the taxes imposed on it by the three levels of government.”

We’re lucky we remain such a cosmically underdeveloped species and so far classified as “untaxable” by the Intergalactic Council, or we’d have a fourth level of government to worry about.

I suppose I should be more excited by Tax Freedom Day, but I’m not. I’m holding off our household’s carbon-neutral celebrations involving Judeo-Gaelic folk-dancing and rooibos tea until Mortgage Freedom Year, which should occur, given our dubious decision to buy a house in Vancouver, sometime in the 2070s as long as we stick to our accelerated bi-daily payment schedule with the bank.

According to the Fraser Institute, the average B.C. family earning an average of $85,745 in 2011, will pay an average of $36,611 in total government-imposed income, sales, liquor, tobacco, amusement, excise, auto, fuel, carbon, motor-vehicle licence, transit, social security, pension, medical, hospital, property, import, profit, natural resource, and other taxes, duties, levies and fees.