While defending the merits of harmonization between the GST and provincial sales taxes, the head of the Canada Revenue Agency confessed the CRA's largesse:
"This isn't about being bigger. We're already the biggest federal institution there is, except for the military,'' [William] Baker said. "It's about what makes sense.''
With 46,000 employees, an annual budget of $3-$4 billion and annual collections of $350 billion, CRA "is a big organization,'' said Baker, who joined CRA's predecessor, Revenue Canada, in 1987 after launching his public service career in Saskatchewan in 1979.
With more than 10,000 financial experts and 4,000 IT professionals on the payroll, CRA is better equipped to collect and dispense billions of dollars of revenues and benefits than any provincial or territorial government.
Our government spends a lot just to get more from us. Not only does this defend tax harmonization, it also defends tax simplification. Ontario's harmonization of corporate taxes to federal rates saved that province $100 million. How much more could simpler systems slash government budgets and save taxpayers?