OTTAWA—The federal government has the resources to maintain and build on the commitments made in the 2004-05 minority Parliament and use upcoming surpluses to move forward on a progressive agenda, says the 2006 Alternative Federal Budget.
“Ottawa currently has sizable surpluses to deliver the programs and services Canadians want and need,” says CCPA Senior Economist Ellen Russell. “However, this historic opportunity will be lost if the Conservatives’ tax cuts leave the cupboard bare.”
The Conservatives’ own estimates indicate that the federal government would have to cut program spending to pay for their full slate of tax cuts.
The AFB argues that Canadians will be much better served by investing the surplus into a range of public services that address the most important problems facing the country today.
“A $300 or $400 net tax cut is small compensation for being unable to find a childcare space when you need it, or send your child to university, or afford decent housing,” says AFB Coordinator Judy Randall.
This year’s AFB highlights the significant progress made in 2004-05 on childcare, First Nations, the environment, young Canadians and workers, and cities and communities and calls on the government to honour these commitments.
The AFB will build on these priorities and invest a net total of an additional $36 billion in Canada’s social and environmental quality of life over three years while maintaining a balanced budget in every year and with no increase in overall taxes.
“The AFB offers better choices within a responsible fiscal framework, which means investing in things like health care, education, clean air, safe drinking water, and affordable housing,” says Randall. “These public goods are necessities, paid for by our tax dollars, and no tax cut could deliver them so equitably.”
Alternative Federal Budget 2006: Moving Forward is available from the CCPA web site at http://www.policyalternatives.ca. The AFB, coordinated by the CCPA, incorporates the priorities of a wide range of prominent civil society organizations representing millions of Canadians.
For more information contact: Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.