Bulletin de veille du 2 novembre 2021

Québec/Canada

Les auteurs présentent une analyse des dépenses en énergie des ménages ontariens pour l’année 2019. On y mesure aussi l’ampleur et l’impact des subventions du gouvernement provincial pour les ménages à plus faible revenus dépendamment de leur région et de leur facture d’électricité.

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Le présent rapport montre comment les dépenses en énergie domestique varient selon le niveau de revenu des ménages et d’une région à l’autre en Ontario. Il examine également comment les prestations offertes dans le cadre de différents programmes provinciaux qui subventionnent le coût de l’électricité sont distribuées aux ménages de l’Ontario selon le niveau de revenu et par région.

Il est estimé que la transition vers la carboneutralité entraînera la perte de 312 000 à 450 000 emplois dans l’industrie du gaz et du pétrole, mais le gouvernement, les organisations, les communautés et les autres acteurs économiques peuvent significativement réduire ces pertes, voire les éliminer, en s’inspirant de situations historiques similaires.

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For hundreds of thousands of Canadians, the transition towards a low-carbon economy is set to be incredibly difficult. The transition is predicted to result in a loss of between 312,000 and 450,000 jobs among workers employed by or providing support to the oil and gas sector and its supply chain. This is a staggering number of jobs gone at potentially great economic and social cost. But there are actions government, organizations, communities and others can take to significantly lessen, if not eliminate entirely, the sting.

There are numerous examples of workers and communities languishing for extended periods after the main economic engine left town. Think of the “Rust Belt” in the United States following the decline in manufacturing, North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany as a result of the coal-phase out, and — within our own borders — Newfoundland and Labrador after the cod moratorium. The ill effects often last for decades; northeast England still hasn’t recovered its prosperity from when coal mining died in the 1980s.

Clearly, if Canada does not learn from past examples and its own history, the imminent energy transition could prove to be just as devastating economically and socially, and particularly so for certain regions including Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador. As Canada works towards a low-carbon future, governments and other organizations must pay close attention to determining what elements are required in Canada’s just transition framework to ensure workers, communities and companies are offered a prosperous economic and social future.

Nouvelle recherche sur les motivations à l’évasion fiscale. On y note notamment que la coercition par les administrations fiscales est associée à davantage d’évasion fiscale et que les connaissances fiscales n’ont pas d’impact sur l’évasion fiscale.

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La recherche contemporaine sur l’évasion fiscale se concentre sur les raisonnements et motivations des individus puisque la sévérité des sanctions et leur fréquence n’expliquent pas la fréquence observée du phénomène. Une des approches courantes de cette littérature est le modèle dit de la « pente glissante », qui décrit la conformité fiscale comme forcée ou volontaire et la conçoit comme une interaction entre perceptions de confiance, de pouvoir et de coercition de la part des autorités fiscales.

La présente analyse fournit de nouvelles validations empiriques de cette théorie en combinant des mesures de ses dimensions motivationnelles avec les résultats d’expériences par liste mesurant la fréquence de l’évasion fiscale. Nos données de sondage confirment l’effet positif de la conformité fiscale sur la fréquence de l’évasion fiscale, mais les effets que nous observons sont d’une ampleur bien moindre que ceux observés auparavant avec des items mesurant l’accord ou l’intention d’évasion fiscale. Nous tentons de bonifier le modèle en y intégrant les dimensions des connaissances fiscales et la perception de justice distributive. Il apparaît que les connaissances ont peu d’impact sur la conformité fiscale et que la perception de justice l’affecte, mais par le biais des canaux décrits dans les modèles actuels.

Le texte présente la perception de répondants Québécois quant aux impôts qu’ils paient. L’analyse teste également l’approche d’économie expérimentale par l’entremise d’un sondage en mesurant si l’opinion des répondants varie quand ils obtiennent notamment une illustration du fardeau fiscal d’un ménage comparable au leur. 

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La perception des Québécois quant aux impôts est mesurée par sondage pour la sixième fois par la Chaire. Avant la présente publication, c’est en pleine pandémie que l’opinion publique québécoise avait été sondée à cet égard et pour la première fois, l’idée qu’on paie « trop d’impôts » n’était pas majoritaire.

Cette fois-ci, les répondants Québécois, questionnés au moment où la crise économique liée à la pandémie se résorbait, montrent que leur perception est revenue près de son niveau historique.

Le cahier présente également une analyse utilisant l’approche d’économie expérimentale par l’entremise d’un sondage. Cela consiste à voir si l’opinion des répondants est affectée par le fait d’être exposés à une estimation individualisée du niveau des impôts payés et des prestations reçues. De surcroît, le tiers des répondants a également vu une comparaison du niveau des impôts nets payés par un ménage plus riche et un ménage plus pauvre que le leur, soit une illustration de la progressivité. Une analyse des résultats à cet égard est donc présentée.

Ce Regard présente l’évolution du crédit d’impôt pour maintien à domicile des aînés au cours des 20 dernières années ainsi que des pistes de réflexion pour assurer la pérennité de la mesure.

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Depuis son apparition en l’an 2000 dans le paysage fiscal québécois, il y a donc plus de 20 ans, le crédit d’impôt remboursable pour le maintien à domicile d’une personne âgée, appelé aujourd’hui crédit pour maintien à domicile des aînés, est progressivement devenu la dépense fiscale concernant les aînés la plus importante du régime d’imposition des particuliers du Québec.

Des changements fréquents et importants au crédit, dont les plus récents ont été annoncés le 25 mars 2021 dans le Budget 2021-2022 du Québec, ont modifié la quasi-totalité de ses paramètres initiaux. Les auteurs en présentent la genèse et décrivent l’évolution dans le temps de chacun des principaux paramètres du crédit.

Ce portrait d’ensemble est complété par une analyse des coûts et de l’utilisation de la mesure, notamment en fonction du type de résidence des aînés et de différents paramètres sociodémographiques.

Le crédit pour maintien à domicile des aînés ne semble pas prêt de disparaître; tant son coût que son utilisation devraient continuer de croître. La dépense fiscale annuelle associée au crédit atteindra 1 milliard de dollars au cours des prochaines années. Toutefois, il y a lieu de mener dès à présent une réflexion pour assurer la pérennité de la mesure et pour veiller à ce que les personnes qui devraient en bénéficier puissent y avoir accès.

L’auteur s’intéresse au programme fédéral canadien de péréquation. Il est d’avis qu’en raison de la formule qui est utilisée pour le calcul de la péréquation, si Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador ou la Saskatchewan se qualifient l’année prochaine, ce qui est fortement probable en raison de l’impact de la pandémie sur les provinces productrices de pétrole, l’Ontario se qualifiera automatiquement pour des sommes significatives.

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Economic and fiscal disruptions from the pandemic may soon reveal an unintended quirk in Canada’s equalization program: falling resource revenues in Saskatchewan or Newfoundland and Labrador may cause Ontario to become a recipient province. The case for changes to equalization is growing stronger. It would be unfortunate if Alberta’s referendum distracted from that.

In a referendum last week, 61.7 per cent of Albertans who voted supported removing the principle of equalization from Canada’s constitution.  While the vote had little to do with equalization, as even many proponents will concede, it may nonetheless have important implications for the program — and not for the better. Rather than motivating reform, the increased polarization and politicization of the program that the referendum created may very well prevent otherwise sensible changes from going forward.

Les auteurs s’intéressent aux effets de l’Allocation canadienne pour enfants sur les familles bénéficiaires. Selon eux, dans les familles à revenu moyen, les soutiens secondaires ont réduit leurs revenus d’emploi personnels, leur participation au marché du travail ainsi que leurs heures de travail à la suite de la réforme de l’ACE.

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In 2016, the government of Canada introduced the Canada Child Benefit (CCB), a large income-tested transfer to families with children. Our research shows it works well for low-income Canadians but causes a significant decrease in hours worked by secondary earners in middle-income families. We argue the CCB could be better-targeted toward low-income households.

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) has been hailed as a signature achievement of the Trudeau government since its introduction in 2016, and is credited with reducing child poverty. But, as a means-tested cash benefit, CCB could discourage work incentives too. Work disincentives are a problem, because they could increase the total fiscal cost of the program, and they could weaken its impact on family incomes and child poverty.

We examined how incomes and labour supply changed in families with the introduction of CCB, using microdata from the Canadian Income Survey. While other recent research has examined CCB’s impacts on single-parent families, we focus on two-parent families and the impacts on labour supply of secondary earners within those families.

L’automatisation, les innovations digitales et la mondialisation nécessitent une requalification et une augmentation des compétences des travailleurs canadiens. Bien que le Canada ait implanté, en 2019, l’allocation canadienne pour la formation (ACF), le gouvernement devrait s’assurer que les individus durement touchés par la COVID-19, les individus faiblement qualifiés et les chômeurs de longue durée puissent contribuer à l’économie canadienne, notamment en élargissant les critères d’éligibilité à l’ACF.

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Automation, digital innovation, globalization and demographic shifts have been reshaping the labor market, leading to some long-term structural changes and redefining the skills required to maintain a productive workforce – a trend that has been amplified by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our study shows Canada still stands below the top-performing countries in skills development, and has no comprehensive approach toward lifelong learning. As well, the participation gap in training between high- and lowskilled and educated people is large.

In 2019, the federal government announced the Canada Training Benefit, a universal skills development program intended only for employed Canadians who meet eligibility criteria; several temporary skills training programs have also been introduced in 2021, after more than a year into the pandemic. Some features of these programs need improvement, however, particularly in regards to eligibility criteria and addressing barriers.

Despite the growing importance of training the workforce and the availability of various programs, individuals, businesses and governments face several challenges in taking the necessary steps to ensure sustainable upskilling and reskilling.

Evidence shows that businesses play a central role in providing training to their employees, but they invest less in lowskilled employees because of lower returns. However, the wider social returns from lifelong learning for adults with low qualifications can be high because it improves their employability, reduces their dependency on unemployment benefits and other targeted transfer spending and boosts inclusive growth. Although subsidies to businesses promote participation in lifelong learning, employers normally fail to address the needs of low-skilled employees.

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Bien que les Canadiens dépensent plus dans les soins de fin de vie que d’autres pays, y compris les États-Unis, les résultats atteints sont médiocres comparativement à ces pays en raison de problèmes structurels dont la séparation des budgets, le manque de transition à des soins palliatifs en temps opportun, les barrières aux soins à domiciles et dans la communauté et l’insuffisance des lits et options pour les patients en fin de vie.

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Despite spending more on medical care delivered at the end-of-life than other high-income countries, Canada performs poorly on most measures of healthcare quality – meaning Canadians are not getting value for their money, according to a new report released by the C.D. Howe Institute.

Authors Kieran Quinn, Sarina Isenberg and James Downar review the gaps in Canada’s healthcare system that lead to costly and low-quality end-of-life practices. They estimate that with a few simple, feasible structural changes in end-of-life care, Canada’s healthcare system could save hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

Canada has among the highest rates of hospitalization in the last three months of life (61 percent), despite the vast majority of Canadians (87 percent) preferring to receive end of life care at home. As well, most Canadians die in hospital (61 percent), far more than in England (47 to 51 percent), the Netherlands (28 to 31 percent) and the United States (20 percent), according to the authors.

À l’aide d’un exemple fictif, l’auteur explique en quoi le deuxième pilier de la Déclaration sur une solution reposant sur deux piliers pour résoudre les défis fiscaux soulevés par la numérisation de l’économie, laquelle déclaration est acceptée par 134 des 140 pays membres du Cadre inclusif OCDE/G20 sur le BEPS, peut engendrer des pertes de recettes publiques pour le Canada.

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Headlines abound on recent developments toward the widespread – but not universal – adoption of a new approach to the taxation of large multinational enterprises (MNEs).

Last week, a G20 Communiqué proclaimed an “historic agreement” that “will establish a more stable and fairer international tax system.” There are two pillars to the agreement. Pillar I allocates new taxing rights to market countries for about 100 of the largest MNEs, and Pillar II establishes a global minimum tax of 15 percent for MNEs with revenues of €750 million, which includes many Canadian MNEs.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told the CBC that Canada expects at this point to raise additional annual tax revenues of $4.5 billion, of which “about $1 billion” would come from Pillar I, so about $3.5 billion is expected to come from Pillar II. She also stated that “the only losers from this deal are big multinational companies who are currently using globalization and the loopholes it has created to avoid paying taxes.

L’auteur estime l’effet potentiel de substitution des importants sur la Bilan carbone du Québec dans une perspective de décarbonisation de l’industrie manufacturière.

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Les effets économiques de la pandémie n’auront pas été que négatifs. En effet, la perturbation des chaînes d’approvisionnement, les vulnérabilités ressenties du côté de la sécurité alimentaire et les formes variées de dépendance aux marchés étrangers ont accru les sensibilités aux effets écologiques des relations économiques sous-jacentes. À certains égards la crise sanitaire a permis de mieux cerner quelques-uns des enjeux de la transition écologique et énergétique. Meilleure gestion des risques de santé publique et renouvellement des manières de produire et consommer ont fait émerger dans le débat public des considérations qui ne seront pas sans impact sur le renouvellement des politiques industrielles et commerciales.

Ce sera une tâche considérable et qui nécessitera des efforts importants de moyens, certes, mais également de concertation. C’est dire qu’il importe dès maintenant d’entreprendre de cerner les paramètres de base susceptibles de conduire à un tel renouveau. Pour faire les bons choix il faudra une lecture fine et partagée non seulement des enjeux mais aussi des priorités de traitement à leur accorder.

Les auteurs rapportent qu’en Alberta, le United Conservative Party (UCP) critique le fait que le Québec est la province qui profite le plus de la péréquation et de l’argent des contribuables albertains, tout en faisant obstacle aux projets de pipelines jugés cruciaux pour la prospérité économique de la province débitrice. Les auteurs sont d’avis que les conflits politiques en lien avec la péréquation portent moins sur les positions économiques des provinces bénéficiaires et non bénéficiaires que sur le sentiment identitaire et la perception qu’ont les gens du Québec.

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On Oct. 18, 2021, Alberta is holding two referendums along with municipal and Senate elections. One focuses on the federal equalization program. Albertans will be asked: « Should Section 36(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982 – Parliament and the Government of Canada’s commitment to the principle of making equalization payments ­– be removed from the Constitution? » Created in 1957, the federal equalization program transfers a total of almost $21 billion to five provinces whose fiscal capacity (calculated as the revenue that each province could generate at a given and hypothetical rate of taxation) falls below the national average. Currently, these provinces are Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

Les auteurs procèdent à une analyse du fonctionnement et des objectifs du régime d’assurance-emploi, de sa création en 1940 jusqu’à aujourd’hui, pour ensuite proposer trois mesures qui permettraient de bonifier et élargir le régime actuel afin qu’il réponde mieux aux besoins des travailleurs.

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Parmi les nombreuses vulnérabilités sur lesquelles la pandémie de COVID-19 a jeté un éclairage cru figure le principal mode de protection du revenu des travailleurs et des travailleuses au Canada, le programme fédéral d’assurance-emploi. Depuis le début des années 1990, le régime a connu une série de reculs faits au nom d’une analyse du chômage qui met davantage l’accent sur la responsabilité individuelle, ce qui s’est traduit par une baisse majeure de l’accès aux prestations. Dans cette note, nous revenons sur l’évolution historique du programme d’assurance-emploi, puis nous formulons une proposition de réforme fondée sur des simulations du coût de diverses mesures.

L’engagement pris par le Canada quant à la réduction de ses émissions de gaz à effet de serre de 40 à 45% d’ici 2030 par rapport aux niveaux de 2005 et l’atteinte de la carboneutralité d’ici 2050, imposera un défi de taille, des analyses conservatrices établissant un coût entre 0.5 et 1 billions de dollars canadiens, et aura une faible influence sur la prévention des changements climatiques, les émissions de gaz à effet de serre des pays en voie de développement augmentant plus rapidement que celles des pays développés tel le Canada. Incidemment, le Canada devrait adopter des politiques afin de faciliter l’adaptation aux futurs changements climatiques.

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Replacing coal-fired power in Canada with renewable energy will impose significant costs on Canada’s economy while only making modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

“Despite what advocates claim, renewable power—including wind and solar—isn’t free and comes with only modest benefits to the environment,” said G. Cornelis van Kooten, economics professor at the University of Victoria, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and author of Canadian Climate Policy and its Implications for Electricity Grids.

The study finds that shutting down coal-fired power plants—which accounted for 9.2 per cent of electricity generation in Canada in 2017—and replacing them with wind and solar would reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by 7.4 per cent but increase the costs of operating the electricity grid by between $16.8 billion and $33.7 billion a year—or 1 to 2 per cent of Canada’s annual GDP—depending on the weather impacting wind and solar power.

The study explains that part of the increased cost is a result of having to build and maintain backup power from natural gas to supply electricity when wind and solar are not available.

Crucially, the 7.4 per cent emissions reduction would fall short of the federal government’s target—to be 40 per cent to 45 per cent below 2005 emissions levels by 2030.

“Reducing Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by replacing coal-fired power with wind and solar would prove extremely costly, and still wouldn’t meet the federal government’s climate targets,” van Kooten said.

Les réformes gouvernementales quant au bien-être et à l’assistance sociale survenues en 1990, peuvent donner d’importantes leçons au Canada quant à la façon de s’y prendre pour améliorer son système de santé, un des moins performants lorsque comparé aux autres systèmes de soins de santé universel, malgré le fait que le Canada soit un des pays dépensant le plus dans ce domaine.

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“COVID-19 has exacerbated two of the most important ongoing public policy challenges facing Canada: the deterioration of government finances, and the comparative underperformance of our health care system,” said Ben Eisen, senior fellow at the Fraser Institute and co-author of Less Ottawa, More Province, 2021: How Decentralized Federalism Is Key to Health Care Reform.

The study notes that despite high spending levels in Canada, compared to other universal health care countries, our performance is poor to moderate on most measures.

Critically, Canada ranks fifth highest out of 28 universal health care countries examined in terms of age-adjusted health care expenditures per capita, as well as 26th for physicians, 14th for nurses, 25th for curative (acute) care beds (out of 26), and 24th for psychiatric care beds per thousand population on an age- adjusted basis.

The study highlights the successes of the Chretien-era welfare reforms, which provide a blueprint for health-care reforms.

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Depuis qu’il est au pouvoir, le gouvernement de Justin Trudeau a fréquemment répété qu’il préférait négocier que d’’aller devant les tribunaux en matière de réconciliation avec les peuples autochtones. Or cette vision a entraîné davantage d’actions collectives, épuisant le Fonds de règlement des revendications particulières et, plutôt que de refinancer ce Fonds, comme souhaite le faire le gouvernement Trudeau en 2022-2023, l’auteur propose trois suggestions afin de limiter les dépenses budgétaires dans ce domaine.

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Since 2015, federal spending on Indigenous programs has skyrocketed from $12.4 billion to $24 billion for fiscal year 2021/22, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

In other words, Indigenous federal spending increased by 94.3 per cent since 2015 (after adjusting for inflation).

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The study also found that settlements of legal claims have helped drive recent spending increases. For example, after a 10-year period with no settlements, the federal government since 2017 has settled five Indigenous-related class action lawsuits with more pending. In fact, for fiscal year 2021/22, Ottawa plans to spend at least $3.2 billion to resolve outstanding legal claims and settlement obligations.

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Selon les auteurs, l’augmentation du salaire minimum ne contribuerait guère à réduire la pauvreté au Canada parce que 92,3 % des salariés au salaire minimum au Canada ne vivent pas dans des familles à faible revenu. En fait, la majorité des salariés au salaire minimum en 2019 (la dernière année de données disponibles) étaient des adolescents ou de jeunes adultes âgés de 15 à 24 ans, dont beaucoup vivent avec leurs parents ou d’autres membres de la famille.

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Over the past decade all Canadian provinces have raised their real (inflation-adjusted) minimum wage. The size of these increases has varied considerably from place to place. The four largest provinces implemented particularly large increases. These ranged from 20.2 percent in Quebec to 46.4 percent in Alberta.

One of the most common arguments in favour of raising the minimum wage is that doing so will help reduce poverty. However, the research literature, particularly in Canada, does not show clear evidence of a link between a higher minimum wage and reduced poverty.

The extent to which minimum wage increases can help reduce poverty depends on many factors. One of the most important of these is the specific characteristics of minimum wage workers. For example, if we disregard the possible negative effects on employment levels, higher wage floors are more likely to be an effective anti-poverty tool if minimum wage workers are heavily concentrated in low-income households. Conversely, if a large share of minimum wage workers are secondary or tertiary earners in households that are not low-income, this would blunt the effectiveness of minimum wage increases.

This paper seeks to contribute to the public discourse. Specifically, it examines the age and household income levels of minimum wage earners to help shed light on the question, “who earns the minimum wage in Canada?”

We use Statistics Canada’s “Low Income Cutoff” line, or LICO, to assess the extent to which minimum wage earners live in low income families.

We show that that 8.8 percent of all workers earn the minimum wage. Further, we find that 7.7 percent of all minimum wage earners in Canada live in households that are below the LICO after taxes and transfers. This means that 92.3 percent of minimum wage earners live in households that are above the LICO. The reason for this is driven primarily by the fact that most minimum wage workers are not primary breadwinners in their households but rather are secondary or tertiary earners. Out of the eight provinces for which adequate data was available, the share ranked from a low of 6.6 percent in Alberta to 14.5 percent in Manitoba.

Our analysis also examines the age profile of minimum wage workers. We find that 53 percent of all minimum wage workers are between the ages of 15 and 24. The share of minimum wage workers in this age group varies considerably from province to province.

For many younger minimum-wage workers, the evidence suggests that jobs paying the minimum wage are a first step towards higher-paid compensation. One recent study, for instance, shows that 46.4 percent of minimum wage workers had been in their job for less than a year. Finally, our data show that just 2.2 percent of minimum wage workers are single parents with a child or children under the age of 18.

Across Canada, minimum wages have increased in recent years particularly in the country’s most populous provinces. The stated goal has been to reduce poverty. The extent to which this policy tool can achieve that objective depends in part on various characteristics of minimum wage workers, particularly the household income status of those working at the wage floor. In this study we seek to shed light on these issues by providing insight into the question, “who earns the minimum wage in Canada?”

Dans cette publication, l’auteur propose un objectif de croissance économique ambitieux pour le gouvernement fédéral, soit de doubler le produit intérieur brut (PIB) canadien d’ici 2050. Selon lui, un taux de croissance annuel de 2,5% au cours des trois prochaines décennies permettrait d’atteindre cet objectif représentant 4 trillions de dollars. L’auteur relève le fait que ce taux de croissance annuel a déjà été atteint par le passé au Canada et qu’il permettait de créer la richesse dont le gouvernement fédéral a besoin afin d’atteindre certains de ses objectifs, notamment en matière d’innovation, de climat et de réduction de la pauvreté.

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Targets to guide government actions are nothing new. For decades, the federal government has set annual targets for the number of immigrants it wants. Inflation targeting is the foundation of the Bank of Canada’s monetary policy. Hard budget deficit targets helped governments deal with the fiscal crises of the 1990s and may yet prove indispensable in dealing with today’s record deficits. Given the demonstrated usefulness of hard targets, government needs to set a long-term goal for Canada’s GDP. GDP is the key to creating the incomes that drive employment growth. While governments love to set goals for national achievements for the health and well-being of citizens, and for Canada’s leadership and influence in the world, they ignore the fact that these things all flow from the greater prosperity that economic growth will bring. People regularly underestimate how small changes in growth rates that compound over long periods can produce significantly different outcomes. Increasing annual growth by a factor of five (from 1 to 5 percent) results in over seven times more GDP growth after just two decades. Conversely, the reduction in average annual growth from 3.0 percent in the decade from 1991 to 2000 to 2.2 percent in the 2010s helps explain the difference between an era of burgeoning budget surpluses, booming investment, and soaring optimism versus today’s chronic budget deficits, faltering investment, and rampant pessimism about the future.

États-Unis

Les auteurs procèdent à une analyse détaillée de la distribution de la richesse à l’intérieur de la tranche du 1% des contribuables les plus riches des États-Unis. Cette recherche ouvre la porte à de nouvelles façons de procéder à la taxation des revenus d’intérêts et des gains en capital de ce groupe d’individu.

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This paper uses administrative tax data to estimate top wealth in the United States. We assemble new data that links people to their sources of capital income and develop new methods to estimate the degree of return heterogeneity within asset classes. Disaggregated fixed income data reveal that rich individuals earn much more of their interest income in higher-yielding forms, and have much greater exposure to credit risk. Consequently, in recent years, the interest rate on fixed income at the top is approximately three times higher than the average. Using firm-level characteristics to value firms, we find that twenty percent of total pass-through business wealth accrues to those with losses. We combine this new data on fixed income and pass-through business returns with refined estimates of C-corporation equity, housing, and pension wealth to deliver new capitalized wealth estimates. Our approach—which builds on Saez and Zucman (2016) and Bricker, Henriques, and Hansen (2018)—reduces bias because wealth and rates of return are correlated. From 1989 to 2016, the top 1%, 0.1%, and 0.01% wealth shares increased by 7.6, 5.1, and 3.0 percentage points, respectively, to 31.5%, 15.0%, and 7.0%. While these changes are less dramatic than some prior estimates, wealth is very concentrated: the top 1% holds nearly as much wealth as either the bottom 90% or the «P90-99» class. We discuss implications for income inequality measures, capital tax policy, and savings behavior.

Les auteurs évaluent le manque à gagner pour les enfants de soldats ou de vétérans si le plan de législation Build Back Better du gouvernement Biden ne parvient pas à faire du Child Tax Credit un crédit d’impôt remboursable de façon permanente.

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Some 5 million children with veteran or active-duty parents are eligible for a new or bigger Child Tax Credit this year thanks to the American Rescue Plan’s expansions of the credit, but they — along with tens of millions of other children — will lose out after this year unless Congress extends those Rescue Plan provisions. The stakes are especially high for the 1 million children in veteran and active-duty families who previously received only a partial credit or none at all because their incomes were too low or they lacked earnings in the year; the full Child Tax Credit, or a portion of the credit, will be taken away from them unless Congress extends the Rescue Plan provision making the full credit available to families with the lowest incomes.

Dans cet article, les auteurs analysent la distribution des bénéfices résultant des dépenses fiscales du gouvernement fédéral des États-Unis entre les différents ménages, divisés par quintiles selon leurs revenus, comprenant leur revenu du marché et les prestations d’assistance sociale.

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Tax expenditures are exclusions, deductions, credits, and net preferential rates in the federal tax system that cause government revenues to be lower than they would otherwise be for any given structure of tax rates. In this report, the Congressional Budget Office examines how the benefits from major tax expenditures in the individual income tax and payroll tax systems were distributed among households in different income groups in 2019.

CBO estimates that the tax expenditures examined here totaled about $1.2 trillion in 2019, or 5.8 percent of gross domestic product, and accounted for roughly three-quarters of the total budgetary effects of all tax expenditures that year. The smallest of the tax expenditures discussed here is the state and local tax deduction ($22 billion); the largest are the exclusion and deferrals for the contributions and earnings associated with pensions and retirement savings accounts ($276 billion) and the exclusion for employment-based health insurance ($280 billion including the payroll tax expenditure).

In 2019, the distribution of benefits from the tax expenditures analyzed in this report varied considerably among income groups:

  • Overall, about half of the total benefits from income tax expenditures accrued to households in the highest quintile (that is, fifth) of the income distribution, whereas 9 percent of such benefits accrued to households in the lowest quintile. Payroll tax expenditures were more evenly distributed.
  • Households in the lowest quintile received benefits equal to 16 percent of their total income before transfers and taxes, whereas households in the highest quintile received benefits equal to 7 percent of such income.
  • Among the various tax expenditures, the distribution of benefits varied greatly. For example, about 95 percent of the benefits from the qualified business income deduction accrued to households in the two highest quintiles of the income distribution, whereas 82 percent of the benefits from the earned income tax credit accrued to households in the two lowest quintiles.
  • Provisions of the 2017 tax act (Public Law 115-97) reduced the total estimate of benefits from income tax expenditures by 9 percent. On net, those provisions made the distribution of tax expenditures more progressive because most of the benefits reduced by the tax act would have accrued to households in the highest quintile.

Ce court rapport fait mention de différentes politiques fiscales américaines qui ont contribuées à l’écart de richesse attribuable à l’ethnicité.
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America has long taxed income from wealth more lightly than it taxes income from work. This makes it easier for those with substantial assets to build more wealth compared to those who earn most of their income from work. This report explains that a network of tax breaks and exceptions allows the wealthiest Americans to pay very little in federal income taxes compared to their total, true, income and that this contributes to racial inequity in the United States.

The U.S. tax system has preferential rules for investment income, particularly for capital gains. These tax breaks include lower rates on capital gains, deferral of taxes on gains until an asset is sold (deferred taxes on unrealized gains), and the stepped-up basis rule, which allows unrealized gains to be exempt forever when a taxpayer leaves appreciated assets to their heirs.

It is well-known that tax breaks for capital gains mainly favor the richest 1 percent of Americans. Besides locking in wealth inequality broadly, rules favoring investment income over labor income also worsen racial wealth inequality. Wealth in the United States is disproportionately held by white Americans, who, therefore, receive the greatest benefit from the tax breaks for this type of income.

Cet article présente un bref survol du crédit d’impôt américain EITC (The Earned Income Tax Credit) et met en évidence les tendances récentes visant à renforcer ce crédit.
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The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is designed to boost low-wage workers’ incomes and offset some of the taxes they pay, providing the opportunity for lower-income families to move toward meaningful economic security. The federal EITC has kept millions of Americans out of poverty since its enactment in the mid-1970s. Over the past several decades, the effectiveness of the EITC has been amplified as many states have enacted and expanded their own credits.

The EITC benefits low-income people of all races and ethnicities. But it is particularly impactful in historically excluded Black and Hispanic communities where discrimination in the labor market, inequitable educational systems, and countless other inequities have relegated a disproportionate share of people to low-wage jobs.

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, families across the nation continue to struggle to meet their basic needs. The pandemic affected all communities, but low-wage households felt the hardest economic blow, and many still haven’t recovered. The August 2021 jobs report reveals that unemployment for white households is 4.5 percent. It’s nearly double for Black households at 8.8 percent and 30 percent higher for Hispanic households at 6.4 percent. Food insecurity and insufficient resources to pay rent or mortgage are widespread.[1] Proven and effective income supports—like the EITC—are more important than ever. Even during periods of economic growth, too many workers have faced low and slow-growing wages, while simultaneously feeling the squeeze of the growing costs of food, housing, childcare, and other basic household expenses. To make matters worse, in 46 states low-income households pay a higher share of their incomes in state and local taxes than the richest households.[2] This leaves working families with even fewer resources to make ends meet and contributes to ever-growing income and wealth inequality.

Alors que les démocrates ont justifié le fait d’imposer les riches afin de financer la majeure partie de leurs dépenses de 3.5 billions de dollars américains, justifiant que l’Internal Revenue Code n’est pas suffisamment progressif, une analyse récente du Joint Committee on Taxation démontre que les contribuables américains ayant un revenu élevé supportent déjà un fardeau disproportionné et que les propositions fiscales ne feraient qu’accroître cette disproportion.

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President Biden and congressional Democrats have justified their plan to raise taxes on the rich to fund much of their $3.5 trillion spending by claiming that the tax code is not progressive enough. Yet a recent Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) analysis of the House Ways and Means tax plan undermines that thesis by showing that high-income taxpayers already bear a disproportionate share of the federal tax burden and that the tax proposal would simply make that burden more disproportionate.

One has to wonder how stable or sustainable the Democrats’ spending program can be if it must rely so heavily on the taxes paid by such a small number of taxpayers as in the top 1 percent.

The accompanying chart shows how much of the current federal tax system is borne by high-income taxpayers and how little is paid by taxpayers earning under $100,000. In 2023, JCT estimates that under current law, taxpayers earning under $100,000 (totaling 124 million) will collectively pay 17.2 percent of all federal taxes, including, income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, and excise taxes. This amounts to $655 billion out of the more than $3.8 trillion in expected total federal revenues that year under current law.

Deux défis font face au plan des démocrates d’imposer un impôt spécial sur les biens des millionnaires afin d’augmenter les revenus pour financer l’agenda Build Back Better soit le fait que les revenus et la richesse de ces individus varient selon les conditions économiques et le fait que ce groupe n’est pas monolithique.

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Congressional Democrats are reported to be weighing a special tax on the assets of billionaires to raise revenues to pay for their Build Back Better spending plan. There are two fundamental challenges to such a plan. First, the incomes and wealth of such individuals are anything but stable; they rise and fall with the economy and other market conditions, so taxes tied to them will be volatile. Second, the rich are not monolithic. People move into and out of millionaire status, even billionaire status, all the time. Thus, taxing the rich is like taxing a river—rarely the same people year after year, which adds to the volatile nature of the taxes tied to them. 

IRS data illustrates this point. For many years the IRS issued reports on the income and taxes paid by the top 400 taxpayers, dubbed by some as the “Fortunate 400” report. Over the course of 23 years, 1992 to 2014, some 4,585 unique taxpayers earned enough income to be on this lofty list. In 2014, the income cutoff to be in this group was about $126.8 million in adjusted gross income (AGI). The average AGI in the group was $317.8 million. 

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L’auteur s’intéresse à la pension de la Sécurité de la vieillesse (SV) canadienne. Il est d’avis que les décideurs politiques pourraient mieux protéger les retraités à faible revenu en augmentant l’âge de la retraite et en consacrant les économies qui en résultent à l’augmentation des paiements ou d’autres soutiens à ceux qui se trouvent dans la moitié inférieure de la répartition des revenus.

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Life expectancy at age 65 has grown by about six years since Social Security began paying benefits in 1940 and, despite some recent temporary declines, is expected to increase significantly further in future decades. Despite a modest increase in the age at which people can claim full Social Security benefits (from 65 to 67), future retirees are scheduled to collect benefits for longer than current retirees. The additional benefits paid by the failure to adjust the retirement age for increased life expectancy accrue disproportionately to higher-income retirees. For a variety of reasons, including a lower probability of living to retirement age, only a small portion trickles down to those with limited incomes. Policymakers could better protect lower-income retirees by increasing the retirement age and devoting the resulting savings to raising payments or other supports to those in the bottom half of the income distribution.

L’auteur s’intéresse à un crédit accordé dans le but de venir en aide aux familles admissibles, aux États-Unis, soit le Expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC). Selon lui, l’un des enjeux majeurs à considérer afin que ce crédit puisse engendrer les effets positifs escomptés est de s’assurer que les familles concernées soient informées de son existence. Les barrières linguistiques et l’accès restreint à des ordinateurs dans certaines communautés sont susceptibles d’influencer négativement cette prise de connaissance.   

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The expanded and fully refundable child tax credit (CTC) will lift millions of children out of poverty in 2021. But many very low-income children may be left behind because their parents and guardians neither a filed a tax return in recent years nor claimed economic impact payments provided under COVID-19 relief legislation. How can the federal government deliver tax credits to families that are outside the tax system? The first step is to find the families most at risk of missing out on the CTC. Using data from the US Treasury Department, the Tax Policy Center has developed an interactive tool that identifies the zip codes where eligible families that may not be availing themselves of the expanded CTC reside. Knowing where these kids reside can equip government and non-profit outreach campaigns to tailor resources to the specific characteristics of their communities.

International

Les auteurs s’intéressent à l’accord sur la taxation de multinationales avec un taux fixé à 15% intervenu entre 136 pays. Selon eux, puisque l’adoption de cet accord a pour objectif de changer les règles du jeu en matière de concurrence fiscale internationale, il est impératif d’analyser la manière dont les pays réagissent à ces règles modifiées dans le cadre de l’évaluation de l’efficacité d’un tel minimum d’imposition. 

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The recent international agreement on a minimum effective corporate tax rate marks a profound change in global tax arrangements. The appropriate level of that minimum, however, has been, and remains, extremely contentious. This paper explores the strategic responses to a minimum tax, which—the policy objective being to change the rules of tax competition game–—are critical for assessing the design and welfare impact of, and prospects for, this fundamental policy innovation. Analysis and calibration plausibly suggest sizable scope for minima that are Pareto-improving, benefiting low as well as high tax countries, over the uncoordinated equilibrium.

L’auteur développe un modèle d’équilibre général qui permet d’analyser et de quantifier la contribution du rôle des États-Unis dans la fourniture d’actifs de réserve mondiaux et de financement des investissements étrangers à risque sur la concentration croissante de la richesse parmi les ménages américains.

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The US economy is often referred to as the “banker to the world,” due to its unique role in supplying global reserve assets and funding foreign risky investment. This paper develops a general equilibrium model to analyze and quantify the contribution of this role to rising wealth concentration among American households. I highlight the following points: 1) financial globalization raises wealth inequality in a financially-developed economy initially due to foreign capital pressing up domestic asset prices; 2) much of this increase is transitory and can be reversed as future expected returns on domestic assets fall; and 3) despite the low-interest-rate environment, newly accessed foreign capital provides incentives for affluent households to reallocate wealth toward risky assets while impoverished households increase their debt. Wealth concentration ensues only if this rebalancing effect is large enough to counteract diminished return on domestic assets. Quantitative analysis suggests that global financial integration alone can account for a third to a half of the observed increase in the current top one percent wealth share in the US, but indicates a possible reversal in the future.

Les auteurs présentent une nouvelle technique pour mesurer et comparer la capacité redistributive de politiques fiscales. Un échantillon de 108 pays couvrant les années 2007 à 2018 est utilisé afin d’illustrer la démarche des auteurs et d’analyser la capacité redistributive du produit intérieur brut (PIB) dans le monde.

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This paper presents a novel technique to measure and compare the redistributive capacity of observed tax (or transfer) policies. The technique is based on income distribution simulations and controls for differences in pre-tax income distributions. It assumes that the only information on the pre-tax distribution available in each country-year is the Gini coefficient and the mean (GDP per capita). We illustrate the technique with an application to the personal income tax, using a dataset of 108 countries over the 2007-2018 period.

L’auteure s’intéresse aux régimes fiscaux minier et pétrolier du Mexique. En ce qui a trait au régime fiscal minier, elle conclut qu’une refonte du système permettrait d’augmenter la charge fiscale globale, tout en minimisant l’effet sur la compétitivité. De plus, une augmentation modérée du taux de redevance, combinée avec un affinement de la taxe additionnelle sur les bénéfices générés par la vente de produits pétroliers commercialisables (tax rent), devrait également être considéré.

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Mexico has large extractive industries and it traditionally has raised sizable fiscal revenues from the oil and gas sector. A confluence of factors—elevated commodity prices, financial challenges of the state-owned oil company Pemex, and revenue needs for financing social and public investment spending over the medium term—suggest that a review of Mexico’s taxation regimes for natural resources would be opportune, against the backdrop of a comprehensive approach to tackling Mexico’s challenges. This paper identifies opportunities for redesigning mining taxation to increase somewhat the revenue intake while maintaining the favorable investment profile of the sector. It also discusses recent reforms to the oil and gas fiscal regime and future reform considerations, with attention to the attractiveness of investment on commercial terms—an issue that should be placed in the context of an overall reform of Pemex’s business strategy and possibly of the energy sector more generally.

Arun Advani, Helen Miller et Andy Summers, «Taxes on wealth: time for another look? », 7 p.

Arun Advani, George Bangham et Jack Leslie, «The UK’s wealth distribution and characteristics of high-wealth households », 34 p.

Stuart Adam et Helen Miller, «The economic arguments for and against a wealth tax », 27 p.

Andy Summers, «Ways of taxing wealth: alternatives and interactions », 23 p.

Arun Advani et Hannah Tarrant, «Behavioural responses to a wealth tax », 29 p.

Emma Chamberlain, «Who should pay a wealth tax? Some design issues », 15 p.

Stephen DalyHelen Hughson et Glen Loutzenhiser, « Valuation for the purposes of a wealth tax », 36 p.

David Burgherr, « The costs of administering a wealth tax », 21 p.

Arun AdvaniHelen HughsonHannah Tarrant, « Revenue and distributional modelling for a UK wealth tax  », 38 p.

Les revenus résultant d’un impôt minimum des sociétés à l’échelle mondiale seraient répartis de manière inégale dans le monde. Les pays développés et à revenu élevé gagneront plus de revenus supplémentaires grâce à l’impôt minimum mondial que les pays en développement et les pays à faible revenu parce que la plupart des sociétés multinationales ont leur siège dans les pays à revenu élevé.
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En octobre 2021, 136 pays et juridictions ont convenu de la mise en œuvre rapide d’une réforme majeure du système international d’imposition des sociétés. Dans cette note, nous présentons des simulations des effets de l’introduction de l’impôt minimum mondial de 15% prévu par cet accord sur les recettes fiscales. Nous basons notre analyse sur les statistiques pays par pays les plus récentes publiées par l’OCDE.

L’OBR publie la version d’octobre de son coup-d’œil économique et fiscal, évaluant une meilleure performance de l’État et envisageant une plus grande présence de mesures d’aides à la population dans le futur.

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The successful vaccine rollout has allowed the economy to reopen largely on schedule, despite continuing high numbers of coronavirus cases. The vaccines’ high degree of effectiveness, combined with consumers’ and businesses’ surprising degree of adaptability to public health restrictions, has meant that output this year has recovered faster than we expected in March, boosting tax revenues in the process. The stronger economic recovery has also helped to reduce the fiscal cost of pandemic-related support to below our March forecast. The economy is now expected to grow by 6.5 per cent in 2021 (2.4 percentage points faster than we predicted in March), and unemployment to rise only modestly to 5¼ per cent this winter (1¼ percentage points lower than March), which helps the budget deficit to almost halve to £183 billion in 2021-22 (£51 billion lower than March).

Against the backdrop of an improved underlying fiscal outlook, the Government has announced a significant discretionary increase in both the tax burden and the size of the post-pandemic state. In particular, the October 2021 Budget and Spending Review delivers:

Ce rapport se penche sur l’évolution de la tarification du carbone entre 2018 et 2021 au sein des pays du G20.
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Les pays prennent de plus en plus conscience de l’impératif d’atteindre la neutralité des émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) d’ici à la moitié du siècle afin de juguler les risques d’une évolution dangereuse du changement climatique. En conséquence, beaucoup se sont fixés d’ambitieux objectifs de réduction d’émissions. L’heure est venue de traduire ces ambitions de long terme en mesures politiques concrètes permettant d’effectuer les transformations requises. La tarification du carbone constitue pour les pays un moyen très efficace de remplir leurs objectifs climatiques et de soutenir une relance verte. Le présent rapport dresse un bilan de l’évolution de la tarification du carbone dans les économies du G20 entre 2018 et 2021. Les prix du carbone sont estimés sur la base des taxes carbone, des systèmes d’échange de quotas d’émission et des droits d’accise sur les carburants et combustibles. Les pays du G20 représentent quelque 80 % des émissions mondiales de GES.

Ce rapport, initialement préparé pour le G20, s’intéresse à comment développer des stratégies et politiques fiscales qui permettront de mieux rebâtir l’économie mondiale et soutenir celle-ci à l’issue de la pandémie de la COVID-19.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant deterioration in public finances, adding to pre-existing strains from long-term structural challenges including population ageing, climate change, rising inequality, digitalisation and automation. This report, originally prepared for G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors at the request of the Italian G20 Presidency, considers the challenges and opportunities of developing public fiscal policy strategies as countries seek to “build back better”. The report focuses in particular on how tax policy can be designed comprehensively so that fiscal systems can deliver a balance of equity, growth and sustainability, highlighting some of the key considerations that policymakers should takeinto account to ensure optimal tax policy design and the successful implementation of tax reform.

Au courant des trois prochaines années, les politiques gouvernementales du Royaume-Uni devront se concentrer sur le remboursement des dépenses engagées lors de la Covid 19 avec une visée environnementale, en suivant la voie de la carboneutralité et tout en ne visant pas à replonger ce pays dans une période d’austérité.

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This report is our analysis of the economic and fiscal outlook ahead of the upcoming Autumn 2021 Budget – including what it will mean for the decisions the Chancellor will need to take at the Spending Review.

The starting point for the Budget is that the economy is in a much stronger position than was expected six months ago. This means that the fiscal position is also rosier, despite the effects of higher inflation and interest rates. But the Chancellor still faces difficult decisions at the Budget. The economic outlook is extremely uncertain and pushing to raise taxes or cut spending quickly could risk weakening the recovery. And the spending decisions taken this month will define government policy until at least the next election.

La Heat and Buildings Strategy du gouvernement britannique est une stratégie phare vers l’atteinte de la carboneutralité, améliorant l’efficience énergétique des foyers britanniques. Or, des politiques fiscales seront nécessaires afin d’aider les foyers, particulièrement ceux à faibles revenus, à se conformer à cette stratégie. 

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The Government’s recently released Heat and Buildings Strategy represents a much-needed step forward in plans to decarbonise Britain’s homes, a task likely to be one of the trickiest aspects of reaching net zero emissions. While much of the headlines have focused on heat pumps, the strategy contains welcome support for insulating social housing and the properties of some other low-income households. However, there are gaps in support for owner occupiers on lower incomes, especially those in homes connected to the gas grid. The focus on market-based measures such as green mortgages at the expense of greater capital funding from government also represents a strategic choice, one that the history of delivering similar policies shows may not work in the best interest of low-income households.

 A proposed target for all private-rented homes to reach an EPC-C rating by 2028 is welcome and should mean the benefits of cheaper-to-heat homes are spread to private renters. This is important because it affects one-in-five low-income families. But these new regulations will need to be enforced, in a sector without a strong track record.

The Government has also delivered much-needed clarity on the future of low carbon heating, signalling that heat pumps will keep the majority of Brits warm in the decades to come. If successful, a new support package targeted at delivering cost reductions through industry should cut the cost of replacing gas boilers with heat pumps by as much as half. Delivering the ambition for heat pumps to reach cost parity with gas boilers by 2030 is vital to boosting the affordability of the transition, and in reaching the Government’s target of installing 600,000 heat pumps per year by 2028. The funding set out in the Strategy, however, will only fund 90,000 heat pump installations over three years.

Overall, then, the Government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy should prove a key step forward in improving the energy efficiency of Britain’s housing stock and moving to cleaner sources of heat, a task given new impetus by the recent gas-price spike. But more policy will surely be needed to ensure that the benefits of low-carbon homes are available to all.

Les auteurs s’intéressent aux coûts réels associés à l’objectif du National Party d’Australie en ce qui a trait à la réduction de 46% des émissions d’ici 2030. Selon eux, il n’y a aucune preuve économique supportant la prétention que des investissements dans les énergies renouvelables, le stockage et l’efficacité énergétique engendreront un impact négatif sur les économies régionales.

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While it has been widely rumoured that the cost of securing National Party support for Scott Morrison’s commitment to net zero could be up to $20 billion in in budget spending for projects in National Party seats, the real cost of the deal is, according to an analysis of various recent climate change modelling done by Deloitte Access Economics (DAE), likely to be more than ten times that figure at around $210 billion. Comparing the various modelling conducted by DAE, including the recent Business Council of Australia (BCA) commissioned work, it is clear there are significant economic benefits associated with setting a 46 per cent emission reduction target for 2030. These benefits from early action flow primarily from bringing forward emission reductions in sectors like electricity and transport which gives other industries more time to develop the technologies they need to decarbonise.

Les auteurs interprètent les données des 30 dernières années quant aux émissions de CO2 de différent groupes de personnes selon leur revenu. Ils proposent ensuite quelques moyens de moduler une taxe sur le carbone ou sur les investissements fossiles afin de prendre en compte les différents facteurs socio-économiques ressortant de leur analyse.

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In this paper, Lucas Chancel estimates global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inequality between 1990 and 2019, based on a newly assembled global dataset of income and wealth inequality from the World Inequality Database and on Environmental Input-Output tables. The data shows that the richest 10% of the global population emits nearly 48% of global emissions in 2019, the top 1% emits 17% of the total, whereas the poorest half of the global population emits 12% of global emissions. While two thirds of the inequality in individual emissions was due to emissions inequalities between countries in 1990, the situation has entirely reversed in 2019: 63% of the global inequality in individual emissions is now due to gaps between low and high emitters within countries. Lastly, a lot of efforts need to be done by governments to properly monitor carbon inequalities. Absent such information, it is impossible to assess the distributional impacts of climate policies.

Équipe de rédaction

Recherche et sélection des articles :

  • Samuel Carbonneau
  • Florence Lemire Jeune
  • Jean-Nicolas Tremblay
  • Camille Turgeon

Coordination et édition :

  • Tommy Gagné-Dubé
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