Budget decisions are unquestionably moral decisions: they reveal our values, affect how resources are allocated, and shape our common future as Canadians.We believe that our economy should be an economy of care, putting the well-being of people and of the earth at the heart of economic planning. By promoting dignity for all Canadians, strengthening social security, and supporting fairness and equal opportunity, Budget 2010 can help Canada to take steps towards an economy of care for all Canadians.
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While the global economic crisis continues to threaten the jobs and savings of millions of Canadians, it has also been casting a shadow across much of the developing world.
You’ve heard us say it before, and I’ll say it again: there are over 3.4 million Canadians living in poverty – this according to the Statistics Canada after-tax Low Income Cut-Off (LICO).
Sadly, the Conservative government failed to deliver for Canada’s poor.
The budget contained no poverty reduction strategy. In fact, it contained no mention of poverty, let alone a commitment to ensure that it is addressed. And, the measures aimed at “low-income” Canadians provide far too little for those that need it most.
The federal budget, announced on Tuesday, was significantly lacking on the ‘green’ front. It was clearly still Tory blue.
CPJ, along with environmental groups, hoped that the government would take this prime opportunity to implement a green budget, with increased funding for alternative energy, green infrastructure alternatives and measures to encourage technological innovation. This would have moved Canada towards a modern, sustainable economy.
Although economists were nearly unanimous in their advice before the budget that tax cuts are not a good form of stimulus, Budget 2009 includes $2 billion a year in tax cuts as part of its economic stimulus package. The government – as part of its coordinated campaign of leaks – had been hinting before the budget at tax cuts for the middle class, the “backbone of the economy.”
So when I saw the budget commitment to a tax cut for essentially anyone making less than $81,452, I began to wonder what “middle class” is in Canada.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON: January 28, 2009 - While applauding the government’s serious approach to the economic crisis, Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is disappointed that the federal budget did not contain a poverty reduction strategy or any significant measures to help the most vulnerable in Canada.
“We welcome the government’s intention to run a short-term deficit, but, among other things, the budget missed out on two important fronts – helping the most vulnerable and moving towards a green economy,” said Joe Gunn, executive director.
The federal government recently launched a National Consultation on Budget Actions to Protect Canada’s Economy. In the coming weeks, Canadians are invited to share their views and priorities on an economic stimulus plan for the 2009 Federal Budget.
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Budget 2008, introduced last week, was billed as “Responsible Leadership.” Yet the values and priorities evident in the budget do not include measures to reduce poverty, address homelessness or protect the environment. Public justice calls governments to take responsibility on these issues – and Budget 2008 drastically failed to answer this call.