Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The New Budget: Harper's Hate Letter to Canadians

I've just read the lead-up to Harper's budget and I'm seeing red.

The basics:

Harper wants to give more money to the provinces to address what he calls a "federal-provincial funding imbalance." He is also going to spend $5 Billion on the military, and $2 Billion on his baby bounty (which offers you $1200 a year for each child you have under six).

So how is he going to to pay for all this?

Well, currently, thanks to federal taxes, the price of oil, and good fiscal policies on the part of the previous government, Canada is is running a $10 Billion federal surplus. Do you think he's going to use that?

No, because he's a Conservative. His job is to make those with money richer, and punish those who don't have it.

So, he's going to cut the Good and Services Tax by 1%. This means, if you can afford to buy stuff, it will now be cheaper. This will also take $5 Billion out of the federal budget. He's also going to cut taxes for those earning between $36,000 and $118,000, and taxes for corporations and small businesses (did you know that Canada already has the best corporate tax rate in the G8?). This will also take money from the budget.

So, where is he going to get the money?

Why, by cutting government programs, of course. The national childcare program, which was going to cost $1 Billion a year and created affordable daycare spaces across the country, is gone. The Kelowna Aboriginal Accord, which would have spent $5 Billion to provide housing education, health care and infrastructure for Canada's First Nations, is gone. The funding for the Kyoto Accord to stop global warming is gone. Other government programs will be gone.

And of course, there's one group whose taxes he will raise. Those who earn less than 36,000 a year got a 1% tax cut in the last budget. That's going to be rescinded.

I would love to say Harper is doing this because he is stupid, but that is not why. He is doing it because he represents the interests of business, not of Canadians.

Harper is using the exact same program that the Harris Conservatives used provincially in Ontario in the 1990's. Cut taxes. Cut programs to pay for those tax cuts. When the budget balances, cut more taxes. Cut more programs to pay for them. Explain how the government can't afford to supply Canadians with services, and hand it over to private industry to do it at a tidy profit. And if you're too poor to pay for those services, too bad.

The budget is going to be released this afternoon. If it is what they've promised (and what I have written here is they've promise), I will be writing to my MP to tell them to vote down this budget. I encourage you all to do the same.

Back to work.

No comments:

Free Blog Counter