Manitoba's NDP government has not reversed the neglect of the poorest, most vulnerable Manitobans that was begun under the Filmon government. Money that could have been used to increase equality in the province has instead gone toward income tax cuts and unnecessary accelerated debt repayment.
The 2003-04 Manitoba Alternative Provincial Budget (APB), released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-Manitoba, demonstates that a fairer, greener, fiscally responsible approach is possible in Manitoba.
Each year the APB emphasizes one policy theme area. This year the focus is on poverty and inequality, especially with regards to Manitoba's Aboriginal community. The budget document contains recent census data showing the remarkable demographic trends in Manitoba.
"Where the Conservatives took care of the wealthy and businesses, the NDP has benefited average income families," said Todd Scarth, Director of CCPA-MB. "For at least fifteen years, no matter what party was in power, the provincial budget has meant more bad news for the poorest Manitobans."
The APB proposes an aggressive, $200 million integrated equality package, including enhancements to social security, measures to help the working poor, and investments in services such as childcare that help children escape poverty.
The APB also charts macroeconomic trends that reveal how the little the NDP's approach to spending and taxation has differed from that of the Conservative government of the early 1990s.