Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget rejects income tax cut--invests in improved services and tax reform

April 1, 2003

HALIFAX: According to the Nova Scotia Alternative Provincial Budget, prepared by the by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - Nova Scotia (CCPA-NS), the government's income tax cut amounts to irresponsible public policy. The income tax cut undermines the government's ability to provide the services essential to making Nova Scotia a desirable place to live, work and invest. The APB was released by Stephanie Hunter, Larry Haiven and John Jacobs at a news conference today.

According to Hunter (CCPA-NS Steering Committee & FemJEPP) "after years of underfunding and the deterioration of programs the APB shows how Nova Scotia's public services can be revitalized."

The Alternative Budget finds that for far too long Nova Scotia has invested less than the other provinces in public services and infrastructure. Because the province has generated less revenue, relative to the size of its economy, than the other Atlantic provinces, Nova Scotia now has a debt problem. What is particularly perplexing for Nova Scotians, is, according to Jacobs (CCPA-NS Director), "how a government that claims to have financial problems and insufficient means to provide adequate services can turn around and give away $135 million in an income tax cut. The costs of the income tax cut will be borne by Nova Scotians that benefit from public services such as those suffering from ill health, low income households and children and students."

According to Haiven (CCPA, Research Advisory Committee Chair) "unlike the government whose income tax cut disproportionately benefits the wealthy, the APB invests in all Nova Scotians."

Unlike the government whose income tax disproportional benefits the wealthy the APB invests in all NS

The Alternative Budget fiscal plan also provides for tax reform, such as decreased user fees, less dependence upon revenue from gambling and a decrease the in HST. It uses gas royalties to begin to pay down the provinces debt.

All in all the APB according to Hunter "presents a responsible, practical fiscal strategy that revitalizes public services, manages the debt and provides for progressive tax reform."

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