HALIFAX—The Nova Scotia government is set to release the provincial budget on April 9. To help Nova Scotians understand the government’s budgetary decisions, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-NS (CCPA-NS) is releasing a series of budget watch primers.
The CCPA-NS budget watch primers are designed to provide Nova Scotians with the information necessary to weigh the choices made by our government. When the budget is released, it is important to ask questions about the government budget’s impact on us, our families and our communities.
As Christine Saulnier, CCPA-NS Director states: “We should expect nothing less than a budget that makes its impact and choices clear. What priorities are reflected in the budget? How many jobs will be created? How will the budget affect poverty? Will it help families find affordable, accessible child care and early childhood education? What about families waiting for long-term care?”
Economist and CCPA-NS Research Associate, Michael Bradfield also wants more transparency and accountability when it comes to the evidence the government uses for its decisions. “Evidence tells us that cutting public sector spending to balance the budget causes a fiscal drag and worsens the fiscal situation, with revenue loss down the road. These cuts affect rural communities and women disproportionately. How does the government justify its fiscal choices? It needs a reality check.”
This year’s budget primer, Nova Scotia Budget Watch 2015: Nova Scotia’s Fiscal Choices provides that reality check. It highlights a dozen facts and figures Nova Scotians should know about our fiscal situation.
The effects of the “difficult decisions” the Minister of Finance has alluded to will not be equally distributed. Unless a budget explicitly takes into account its impact on different income groups or on women as opposed to men, it will undoubtedly have a negative impact on women and people earning low incomes. To help Nova Scotians better understand the gender implications of the budget, CCPA-NS and the Women’s Action Alliance for Change Nova Scotia (WAACNS) are also releasing Nova Scotia Budget Watch 2015: Through a Gender Lens.
“The evidence is clear—investing in early learning and child care provides the best bang for our buck of any investment by government; second only to better income supports to those living in poverty. These kinds of investments are also important for improving the status of women: child care is a crucial equalizer, and given that more women than men live in poverty no matter who they are or where they live in Nova Scotia, income supports are vital in the fight for gender equality,” says Co-Chair of WAACNS, Crystal Tobin.
These budget primers are available on the CCPA-NS website. A third budget primer will be released next week on taxation. For interviews and more information, contact Christine Saulnier, Nova Scotia Director, CCPA, 902-240-0926, [email protected]
CCPA is an independent, non-partisan research institute concerned with issues of social, economic and environmental justice.