Tax cuts and debt repayment not the solution to nation’s problems, says Alternative Federal Budget

October 30, 2007

OTTAWA—The radical tax cut and debt repayment plan announced in today’s Economic Statement does nothing to address the serious problems facing the country, the Alternative Federal Budget coalition says.

“Tax cuts will not do anything to help skyrocketing drug costs, our crumbling municipal infrastructure, nor provide clean drinking water on First Nations’ reserves. They will not create affordable child care spaces, build affordable housing, lower tuition fees, nor reduce greenhouse gases,” says Bruce Campbell, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

Canadians are concerned about growing inequality and they want their government to do something about it. These tax cuts will do nothing to address the growing gap between the rich and the rest of us—in fact they will only make it worse.

“New research from Statistics Canada shows that tax cuts over the past ten years have overwhelmingly benefited only a very small proportion of the population at the top of the income scale. There is no reason to believe that this round of tax cuts will be any different,” says Marc Lee, Senior Economist with the CCPA.

“Blowing today’s surplus on tax cuts and debt repayment could easily turn future surpluses into deficits when the long-anticipated economic downturn arrives, setting the stage for further cuts to public services,” says Lee.

Tax cuts are close to the bottom of Canadians’ list of priorities when compared to education, health care and other public policy choices. The Alternative Federal Budget believes that surpluses should be invested in social and environmental programs and public services.

The main beneficiaries of the corporate tax cut are large financial institutions and the energy sector. These tax cuts do nothing substantive to address the current crisis in manufacturing.

“To look at the Economic Statement, you’d never know that Canadian cities are in a state of financial crisis, because there’s nothing in it for them. You’d never know that there’s a consensus in this country that we have to start investing again in our public infrastructure, because there’s nothing in it to address the issue. You’d never know Canadians’ number one priority is action on climate change because the Federal Government hasn’t invested a dime in public transit or energy conservation,” says Hugh Mackenzie, Reasearch Associate with the CCPA.

“Far from standing up for Canadians, this government is turning its back on them,” says Campbell.


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