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Law in Context

Abstract from Volume 24 No 2 (2006) Tax Law and Political Institutions

Gender Budgets and Tax Policy-Making: Contrasting Canadian and Australian Experiences

Lisa Philipps is an Associate Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Canada. She has published widely on topics such as balanced budget and tax referendum laws, the gender impact of tax cuts, the tax treatment of unpaid caregiving work, charitable tax incentives, wealth taxation, the taxation of child support, judicial interpretation of tax statutes, and the tax treatment of disability.

This article discusses the concept of gender-responsive budgeting articu­lated by feminist political economists. Gender budgeting has been used most often to analyse the expenditure side of budgets, with far less work being done on the revenue side. This article discusses the limited extent to which gender analysis has been incorporated into tax policy processes in countries such as Australia and Canada and considers what factors account for the relatively limited progress on this front. It then asks the question, what would gender-responsive tax policy look like? It focuses on two issues: tax cuts and the tax mix. It is argued that more systematic gender analysis is needed to improve the equity, efficiency and transparency of tax measures.

(2006) 24 No 2 Law in Context 143-168

   
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