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社论转载:加拿大联邦的债务,赤字以及此次选举无关的事情(下)
Worth repeat: The debt, the deficit – and other things this election isn’t about




更低的税收还是更多的福利?联邦自由党和保守党有不同的答案。

Lower taxes or more benefits? Liberals and Conservatives have different answers.

在2006年的联邦大选中,保守党承诺将商品和服务税(GST)从7%减至5%。

In the 2006 federal election campaign, the Conservatives ran on a promise to cut the goods and services tax to 5 per cent from 7. Fiscally speaking, it was the biggest thing the Stephen Harper government did during its decade in office.

这一政策也代表了保守党政府的执政理念,即少征一点税,选民也别期望政府操更多的心。

It also represented something consistent about the Conservative vision of a government that taxes a bit less, and can afford to do a bit less.



经济学家普遍不喜欢削减商品及服务税的政策,但此举的确让人们的口袋里有了更多的钱。保守党在2006年估计,一个四口之家、年收入为60,000元的家庭每年将节省约400元。

Economists generally disliked the idea of cutting the GST, but the move really did leave more money in people’s pockets. In 2006, the Conservatives estimated that a family of four earning $60,000 would save around $400 a year.

此外,由于削减了商品及服务税,联邦政府的收入每年大约减少了150亿元。如果渥太华有这笔额外资金,它将在今天保持财政盈余,或者每年能够在一些项目和福利上使用这笔150亿元资金。

Also thanks to that GST cut, the government is noticeably smaller. Federal revenues are roughly $15-billion a year lower. If Ottawa had that extra money, it would be running a surplus today, or able to spend $15-billion a year more on programs and benefits.



2015年,自由党承诺将为中低收入家庭提供更多的儿童福利。他们同时采取了两个政策,即给所谓的中产阶级减税(实际上是给处于经济上层的中产阶级减税),同时给那些占人口1%、赚取高收入的人群加税。

In 2015, the Liberals ran on a promise of more child benefits, targeted at low- and middle-income families. They paired that with a plan for what they called a middle-class tax cut – really more of an upper-middle-class tax cut – paid for with a higher tax bracket for the top 1 per cent of earners.
 
从财政上来说,这是特鲁多政府执政四年以来所做的一件大事。它也代表了自由党政府的执政理念。

Fiscally speaking, it’s the biggest thing the Justin Trudeau government did during its four years in office. And it, too, represents something fundamental about the Liberal vision of government.

2015年,自由党承诺让大多数选民的钱包里留更多的钱。这同保守党在2006年削减货劳税的承诺一样。

In 2015, the Liberals promised to put more money into the pockets of most voters. That’s also what the Conservatives promised with their 2006 GST cut.



2019年大选开始至今,保守党许诺的最大金融政策是“普遍减税”。它将把最低的所得税税率从15%降至13.75%。随后,自由党发布了他们的金融政策,计划到2023年将免税收入(即所谓的基本个人收入)从12,069元提高到15,000元。

And it’s the goal of the 2019 Conservative platform’s biggest idea so far, the so-called “universal tax cut,” which will drop the lowest income-tax bracket from 15 per cent to 13.75 per cent. On Sunday, the Liberals released their answer, a plan to raise the amount of income that is tax-free, the so-called basic personal amount, from $12,069 to $15,000 by 2023.

双方的最新承诺都涉及从下至上的减税政策,但两党的政策存在重大差异。保守党通过降低最低税率,等于给每个人(从低收入到高收入)减税。一旦它上台执行此政策,这意味着在$12,069到$47,630之间赚取的每块钱,你都会少缴1.25分的所得税。但这也意味着,你要想充分得益这一减税政策,你每年必须至少赚取47,630元。

These latest promises from the two parties both involve cutting tax from the bottom up, but with important differences. By cutting the rate on the lowest bracket, the Conservative are offering a tax cut to almost everyone, from low- to high-income. Once fully phased in, it would mean 1.25 cents less of income tax on every dollar earned between $12,069 and $47,630. But it also means that, to get the maximum benefit, you have to earn as least $47,630.



相比之下,自由党的减税政策将让低收入的加拿大人大幅度地少交税,中产阶级收入的人减税不多,而高收入的人没有减税。对于年收入超过$150,000的人,自由党减税措施将逐步取消,而那些收入超过$210,000人的税一分不减。

The Liberals’ promised tax cut, in contrast, would deliver a considerably bigger break for low-income Canadians, a slightly lower tax break for those with middle-class incomes, and no money at all for those at the top end. The Liberal tax cut will phase out for those with incomes over about $150,000, and it will not apply to anyone in the top bracket, over approximately $210,000.

自由党的这一减税政策是2015年联邦大选的政纲之一,其目标的提高一批人福利的政策延续。自由党用加拿大儿童福利金(Canada Child Benefit)取代原有的儿童和家庭福利计划,确保如果家庭收入增加,所享受的福利也随之减少。由于这一政策的实施,那些有较高收入的家庭丢掉的许多福利。但根据国会预算监督办公室(PBO)的说法,在政策实施的第一年中,有880,000个收入低于30,000元的家庭平均获得了额外的2,223元现金,收入介于30,000元和$65,000之间的874,000个家庭则多了$2,086的现金。

That follows the targeted-benefits approach of the 2015 Liberal platform. The Liberals replaced a bunch of child and family programs with the Canada Child Benefit, whose payments fall as income rises. Upper-income earners came out losers in this arrangement but according to the Parliamentary Budget Officer, in the CCB’s first full year, 880,000 families with incomes less than $30,000 each got an average of an extra $2,223 in cash, and 874,000 families with incomes between $30,000 and $65,000 got an extra $2,086.



加拿大儿童福利金大大减少了加拿大的贫困问题。国际经济合作组织(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)发现,借助这些新的现金福利后,有孩子的中低收入加拿大人现在所交的税要比美国同龄人低得多。

The CCB has significantly reduced poverty in Canada. And the OECD found that, when those new cash benefits are taken into account, low- and middle-income Canadians with children now have a much lower tax bill than their peers in the United States.

但是,执行这一政策的代价也不小。根据国会预算监督办公室的报告,在自由党执行这一政策的第一年中,新政策所花的额外的钱要比旧的家庭福利政策多43亿元。

But doing all that wasn’t cheap. In its first full year, according to the PBO, the higher benefits for low- and middle-income families cost $4.3-billion more than the old family-benefits system.



保守党的“普遍减税”措施将像2006年削减GST一样,几乎把所有钱都放回了百姓的口袋,但是,这也会减少渥太华的收入。根据国会预算监督办公室的数据,到2023年,渥太华的收入将减少59亿元。 2019年的自由党减税计划几乎与保守党的政策一样会使渥太华收入减少59亿,但自由党表示将通过日后宣布的“使我们的税收制度更加公平的政策”来补这一缺口。为此,我们拭目以待。

The Conservatives’ “universal tax cut" will put real money in almost every pocket, as the 2006 GST cut did. But it will also reduce Ottawa’s revenues, which will be $5.9-billion lower in 2023, according to the PBO. The Liberals’ 2019 tax-cut plan has almost the same price tag. But the party says it will be paid through to-be-announced “measures that make our tax system fairer." Stay tuned.

保守党和自由党所宣布的经济政纲没有太多的差别。真正的区别是政府如何在消除贫困和在额外收税、如何支配这些税款之间找平衡。在10月21日的联邦大选中,加拿大人面临的一个问题是,作为选民的你想在哪里找到这种平衡。

Conservatives and Liberals aren’t offering visions of Canada that are night and day. But there are real differences in where they strike the balance between how much government should do to reduce poverty, for example, and how much tax it should raise and redistribute to do it. One question for Canadians in this election is where they want to strike that balance.



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