Alternative Budget challenges Feds: Stop cutting taxes, start solving problems

February 25, 2008

OTTAWA – The Stephen Harper government needs to give up its tax cut addiction and invest in solutions to pressing problems facing Canadians, says the 2008 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

AFB 2008 calls the minority government on its irresponsible $190 billion tax cut giveaway (made in two short years) and presents a budget that addresses environmental and economic sustainability – without plunging Canada into a fiscal deficit.

“Our budget tackles climate change and confronts the financial insecurity many Canadians struggle with. It will make it easier for Canadians to get to work each day and give better opportunities to our children. In other words, we address things this government chooses to ignore,” says CCPA Senior Economist Marc Lee.

“The Conservatives’ answer to everything is a tax cut, but that ideological mindset has led this minority government to squander a huge fiscal surplus. We need to take back those tax cuts and put them to work for all Canadians. Canada is facing big problems – and they require big solutions.”

AFB 2008 works within the context of healthy fiscal surpluses and the looming threat of an economic downturn to deliver a socially and fiscally balanced budget that Canadians can count on – in good times and bad. It also makes this the year of poverty reduction.

“In 1989 our federal Parliament unanimously agreed to wipe out child poverty by 2000,” says CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan. “It is now 2008 and child poverty rates are the same as they were in 1989 – yet we have tremendous fiscal capacity to do more.

“The AFB offers a do-able, affordable poverty reduction strategy in an era where Canada can well afford to lower intolerably stubborn poverty rates among our First Nations, women, visible minorities, new Canadians, young families raising children, and seniors.”

The AFB is coordinated by the CCPA and is the result of collaborative deliberations by representatives of a wide spectrum of civil society organizations. It puts Canadians’ long-term interests ahead of short-term political gain, ensuring our national investments benefit the majority and strengthen our nation economically as well as socially.

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The Alternative Federal Budget is available on the CCPA web site at

For more information, please contact: Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer at 613-563-1341 x306.