Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Budget Day in Canada

Budget promises will be kept, Flaherty vows
Last Updated Tue, 02 May 2006 04:51:36 EDT
CBC News
Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will present his government's first budget on Tuesday afternoon in Ottawa – one that is set to cut the GST, as well as taxes for corporations and small business.

As I look forward to this budget I am worried that the government will actually keep its promises, promises that are not (IMHO) based on sound economic theory. THis government promises to scrap a national child-care program that had serious potential to create hundreds of affordable, quality child-care spaces. IN exchange they will pay parents $1200 a year (likely taxable, likely to be clawed back from those on welfare) for each child under 6 and trust that this flow of money will lead to more child-care spaces being developed.

ALso they will cut the GST by 1%, claiming that this will benefit all Canadians equally. BUt of course it won't. Richer Canadians spend more, therefore they save more when a consumption tax is cut. If the government were serious about helping the bottom 25% of Canadian earners they would raise basic tax exemptions, cut tax rates for those earners, and transfer the tax burden on to those who can best afford to pay.

ALso this government has already taken steps (in the name of savng money) to cut spending around the Kyoto accord. And is expected to renege (at least in part) on an agreeement the former government signed with Aboriginal peoples.

Well, we shall see, we shall see.

1 comment:

  1. CuriosityKilledTheCat2/5/06 17:14

    The Bloc's reaction to the first Harper budget shows what to expect during this session of Parliament. Harper set out to woo Quebeckers with money, and with his promise to take money from the federal government and give it to the provinces – a sum far exceeding the thirty shekels of biblical fame – he has succeeded in turning Duceppe into a Harper Groupie.

    It sure did not take much to sway Duceppe: more money for the provincial government? Count me in, he said. Even if this came at the cost of the scrapping of the daycare program designed to provide sustained spaces for children, and the deal cut in Kelowna to help the First Nations ....

    Really, Mr Duceppe: what happened to your many statements that your party was in Ottawa to make sure t hat the federal government worked for Canadians?

    Harper suckered Duceppe once before, when he stampeded Layton and Duceppe into calling an early election in 2006. Now he is setting the Bloc up as a patsy again: throwing some money to the provinces at the cost of reducing the strength of the central government.

    The pattern is crystal clear: the separatist Bloc and the anti-Canadian government Harper believe in the same thing – a weakened Canada and a balkanized system of provinces with enhanced power.

    Who will speak for Canada?

    Not the separatist Bloc, and not Harper and his neocon New Tories.

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