Manitoba releases a long-awaited homelessness strategy: It must be election time

By Kirsten Bernas and Shauna MacKinnon

More risky liquor privatization legislation introduced by PC government

By Kyle Ross, MGEU President

The Stefanson government’s full-on privatization of provincial liquor sales went into overdrive last week with the introduction of Bill 30.

More of Budget 2023 tax changes go to Manitoba’s richest 10% than bottom 50% combined

Statistical analysis of the Manitoba Government Budget 2023 changes to the Basic Personal Amount (BPA) and income tax brackets find the top 10% are slated to get 26% of the total tax savings, equivalent to an average tax cut of $1,322 for everyone in the top decile in 2024. The average savings of all tax filers will be $502 a person while the average savings for the bottom 20% of tax filers will be $37 a person.

Budget 2023 changes the Basic Personal Amount, the income exempt from provincial tax. In 2023, the Basic Personal Amount in Manitoba is set at $10,855. Budget 2023 raises this to $15,000. Income tax thresholds are shifted in Budget 2023, with the first bracket ending at $47,000 and the highest bracket beginning at $100,000 in 2024. 

Using Statistics Canada’s tax modelling software SPSDM 29.0, which considers this change in relation to all tax credits and benefits, a better breakdown of these changes is possible by income. CCPA Economist David Macdonald finds the top 10% of filers (making over $101,274) will avoid on average $1,322 in taxes in 2024. The value of the tax cuts for this group will be $132 million in 2024 or 26% of all benefits, despite only representing 10% of the population. On the other hand, the bottom half of Manitobans (making under $43,000) will receive only 24% of the benefit. 

The poorest 20% of Manitobans will receive only 2% of the total benefit because they already have enough tax credits and can’t use more.

“The tax changes announced in Budget 2023 give disproportionate benefits to high-income earners, particularly dual-income households, who have the disposable income to absorb costs of living increases,” says Niall Harney, Senior Economist and Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues. “The Province should be helping low and middle-income households without gifting hundreds of millions of dollars to the richest among us.”

Table 1: Taxes avoided by taxable income (2024)

Source: SPSD/M 29.0 and author’s calculations

Notes: includes the impact of both the Basic Personal Amount and tax bracket changes in 2024 vs the baseline in 2024 of nothing having been changed.

Budget 2023 hands down large tax cuts on the back of increased federal transfers

For Immediate Release (Winnipeg, Treaty One Territory): We are disappointed to see the provincial government prioritize large tax cuts in its 2023/24 budget at a moment when our provincial health care system and other social services are struggling to keep up with demand. 

The 2023/24 budget commits to $949 million in tax cuts, including $326 million to raise the Basic Personal Amount, $160 million to raise income tax thresholds, and $453 million on education property tax rebates. 

Stop the Cheques, Invest in Education Instead

Previously published on March 4th in the Brandon Sun and Winnipeg Free Press 

Response to True North Real Estate purchase option for Portage Place Mall

March 6, 2023

For Immediate Release Winnipeg (Treaty One): True North Real Estate purchase option goes against the community vision for Portage Place land and mall. 

The Manitoba government’s Homeless Strategy’s goals are worryingly modest when compared to what past governments have done

By Doug Smith

The Shock Doctrine in Manitoba During COVID-19

For Immediate Release (Winnipeg, Treaty One): A new report finds that the Manitoba government accelerated privatization efforts and weakened democracy while Manitobans were preoccupied with the COVID – 19 pandemic. 

“The Shock Doctrine in Manitoba: How the Provincial Government Pushed Privatization and Weakened Democracy During COVID-19” is by Nicholas Pauls Harder and Molly McCracken 

Winnipeg Global Climate Strike March 3

Winnipeg: Global Climate Strike

Manitoba Government Ignores Evidence For Supervised Consumption Sites

By Thomas Linner,