Super Exciting Fiscal Imbalance Talk!
1) First off, via political mouse, comes this story of a potential equalization plan. The plan calls for three billion a year in transfers with most of it going to (surprise, surprise) Quebec. Here are the nuts and bolts:
As outlined by party sources, the plan, if it gets Cabinet approval, would include two key elements. Firstly, the equalization program that provides federal money to provinces whose ability to generate tax revenue falls below a national average would be enriched by nearly $900-million.
Secondly, those provinces that do not receive equalization money would be included in increased social transfer payments to pay for post-secondary education and training. This funding, likely in the region of $2-billion, would be divided on a per capita basis.
The price for the added largesse from Ottawa would be a new equalization formula, which includes part of a province's resource wealth in the calculation.
2) It sounds like Harper's plan won't please everyone since the Bloc is demanding 12 billion a year in transfer. Yes, that's 12 billion. In other words, Gilles Duceppe feels that it makes sense for Ottawa to go into deficit in order to give money to provinces which are, by and large, in surplus. Uh-huh.
Just to pay for this the Tories would have to, I dunno, add a few points on to the GST or something.
3) Finally, this isn't fiscal imbalance related, but whatever individual used this google search to find my site last week must have some sort of imbalance.