No Time to Lose: Alternative Federal Budget outlines progressive plan to boost competitiveness ahead of the fall economic update

Experts urge policymakers to ignore calls for corporate tax cuts and instead take bold action on inequality, sustainability and economic justice
September 19, 2018

 

OTTAWA—With the country facing significant and unpredictable headwinds going into another federal election year, the 2019 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB)—released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA)—shows Canada can boost competitiveness and encourage innovation by investing in people, not by giving corporations more tax cuts.

The progressive and cost-effective measures in the 2019 AFB will narrow the gap between the rich and the rest of us, lift close to a million people out of poverty, raise revenues by closing unfair and expensive tax loopholes, and create 500,000+ jobs, many of them in the low-carbon jobs of the future. The alternative on offer—for Canada to copy the Trump administration’s tax cuts and deregulation—is far too expensive to even consider.

“The reality is, Canadian economic competitiveness is threatened far less by corporate tax and regulatory changes south of the border than it is by climate change, persistent and damaging levels of inequality, and dramatically underfunded public services and social programs,” says CCPA Director of Policy and Research Gauri Sreenivasan.

Under the AFB plan, the 95% of Canadian families who earn less than $254,000 a year will be better off on average due to both tax and transfer changes, and new social programs including a long overdue national pharmacare plan, universal child care and free tuition. This can all be achieved while maintaining historically low deficits.

The AFB plan shows that Canada can afford to:

  • Eliminate the gender employment gap, which will add 4% to Canada’s real GDP;

  • Lower the poverty rate by 50% within three years;

  • Slash the child poverty rate by a quarter and the senior poverty rate by roughly 40%, while doing a better job at protecting pensions;

  • Invest $5 billion in First Nations infrastructure over three years;

  • Implement single-payer universal pharmacare, saving up to $11.5 billion across the country; and,

  • Implement a “just transition” plan to support workers and communities as Canada moves away from fossil fuels on the path toward a clean economy.

“The AFB proves there are alternatives, and we can afford them. There is no time to lose in turning those alternatives into workable public policy,” adds CCPA Executive Director Peter Bleyer, who will appear before the federal Finance Committee Sept. 20 for pre-budget consultations.

“The choices we make today—to tackle inequality, implement universal pharmacare, and act on catastrophic climate change—will determine the sustainability of our society and economy for years to come.”

About the Alternative Federal Budget: Now in its 24th year, the AFB is a collaborative effort bringing together leading Canadian economists and sectoral experts to present progressive policy solutions with the means to pay for them. Alternative Federal Budget 2019: No Time to Lose is available for download at www.policyalternatives.ca/afb2019.

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For more information or to arrange interviews contact: Alyssa O’Dell, CCPA Media and Public Relations Officer, at 613-563-1341 x 307, cell 343-998-7575 or alyssa@policyalternatives.ca.

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