Harper should take his own advice on stimulus spending: study

April 6, 2009

OTTAWA—Prime Minister Stephen Harper should take some of his own advice and increase his government’s economic stimulus plan, says a new study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The study, by CCPA economist David Macdonald shows the federal stimulus plan was a matter of too little, too late by calculating the exact day the Conservative stimulus package became inadequate for both job creation and GDP.

“January’s stimulus budget will at best create 189,000 jobs and grow Canada’s economy by 1.6%,” says Macdonald. “Ironically, Canada had lost exactly that many jobs by January 26, 2009—the day before the stimulus was introduced.”

By December 30, 2008 Canada’s real GDP had shrunk by 1.6% and by January 26, Canada had already lost 189,000 jobs – making federal promises to soften the blow of recession a moot point.

“The Conservative stimulus plan wasn’t enough the day it was introduced and since then Canada has lost 106,000 more jobs and the economy has shrunk by another 0.7%,” says Macdonald.

To make matters worse, much of the most effective stimulus dollars to be spent on infrastructure and low-income Canadians will be needlessly delayed. However, the least effective stimulus measures, like broad-based tax cuts, were implemented almost immediately.

“At the G20 Prime Minister Harper was encouraging the world’s governments to spend at least 2% of GDP in stimulus while his own plan falls far short,” Macdonald says. “He should take some of his own advice.”


Too Little Too Late: Federal Stimulus Budget Eclipsed by Job Loss is available on the CCPA website: http://www.policyalternatives.ca

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