Most Current Research on Social Change in Canada

Community News & Features Feb 27, 2014 at 5:50 pm

The Philippine Reporter believes that research matters.  Hence, it is publishing information on some of the latest research gems significant to everyone.

These studies are lifted from the SPAR (Social Policy Analysis and Research) Monitor, an inventory of recent social research information relevant to social policy. — Editors

This bulletin is a quick inventory of recent social research information. Its purpose is to promptly disseminate the most current external and internal research relevant to social policy. It is published by City of Toronto’s Social Development, Finance and Aministration Division.

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Income Splitting in Canada: Inequality by Design,
by David Macdonald, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), January 28, 2014.

This study examines the cost and the distributional impact of three income splitting scenarios: pension income splitting; income splitting for families with children under 18, as the Conservatives have pledged; and income splitting for all families. The study finds that the impact of income splitting in all scenarios is very unequal and the lost revenue for Canadian governments would be substantial.

Some of the findings:

• Eighty six percent (86%) of all families would gain no benefit whatsoever from this tax loophole

• The richest 5% of families would see more benefit than the bottom 60% of families combined

• The bottom 60% of families would receive, on average, $50. The richest 5% of Canadian families — those making over $147,000 — would see an average benefit of $1,100

• This loophole would cost the federal government $3 billion in lost revenue and an additional $1.9 billion provincially — for a total revenue loss of $4.9 billion in 2015 alone

For link to the study:
http://policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/01/Income_Splitting_in_Canada.pdf

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Finding Food: Community Food Procurement in the City of Toronto
by Sally Miller, for Toronto Food

Strategy / Toronto Public Health, December 2013.

The purpose of this report is to explore options for aggregated procurement and other strategies that enable better access to fresh, healthy food for community agencies. It also provides opportunities for cost and time savings. The overall goal is to increase the nutritional quality of foods served and wherever possible decrease costs for agencies.

Some of the key findings:

• Many agencies are not able to meet their healthy eating goals due to lack of funding and lack of staff-time to explore the best supply options

• A high percentage of interviewees rely on chain grocery stores for food supplies; they purchase at retail rather than wholesale price levels

• In total the amount spent annually by all Toronto agencies is estimated at about $29 million

• A lack of knowledge about supply options as well as nutritional issues can prevent agencies from achieving the greatest impact possible

For link to the Toronto Food Strategy Report:
http://tfpc.to/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/CFP-Finding-Food.pdf

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Alternative Federal Budget 2014: Striking a Better Balance
by The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), February 5, 2014.

This report shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously address Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns. It delivers a plan that would lift 855,000 Canadians out of poverty, reduce income inequality, boost the economy, lower unemployment to 5.4%—and still balance the budget one year later than the federal government plan.

Under the Alternative Federal Budget:

• The poverty rate for seniors would drop by 46% and child poverty by 26%

• The bottom 60% of Canadian families will see improved incomes from the AFB’s tax measures.

• Upper-middle class families would see tax increases of under 2% of their family income

• The top 5% of families would see the largest tax increases (6% of their family income) as tax loopholes used by the rich are closed

For link to the report:
https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/National%20Office/2014/02/AFB2014_MainDocument.pdf