LTE: Federal budget in wrong direction, more inequality

Dear Editor:

The Harper Government’s fifth austerity budget continues to move the country in the wrong direction and increases the growing income inequality between the very wealthy and everyone else. The inequality budget fails to address the needs and concerns of the residents of Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry who are having a hard time making ends meet in these uncertain economic times. Everyday people are concerned about jobs, their stagnant income and rising household costs, growing income inequality, and their healthcare and pensions.

Today, the number of Canadians out of work is 300,000 higher than in 2006 when the Conservatives came to office, the youth unemployment rate stands at a shameful 13%, and many of the new jobs are precarious, part-time, low- paying jobs with no benefits.

This budget does little to stimulate the economy, create and protect good jobs, and assist the 1.3 million Canadians who are looking for work. To create jobs, the Federal NDP has proposed initiatives to kick-start innovation in manufacturing and to assist small businesses that create 80% of all new jobs. The NDP will provide predictable and stable funding for public infrastructure, make affordable housing a priority, and tackle climate change which has been completely ignored by the Harper Government.

As a result of tax cuts and tax loopholes for the large, profitable corporations and the wealthiest Canadians provided by Liberal and Conservative Governments during the past 35 years, income inequality in Canada is now at an all-time high. To reduce income inequality, the NDP has proposed a $15 federal minimum wage, a universal child care program, improved pensions, generous transfers for healthcare, and greater support for veterans. The NDP would reverse the Harper Government’s tax cuts to the large, profitable corporations bringing them closer to the average of G7 countries raising billions of dollars for the federal treasury. The NDP would scrap the Conservatives’ costly $2 billion, unfair income-splitting proposal which will benefit only the wealthiest 15% of Canadian families and would also scrap the doubling of the Tax Free Savings Account (TSFA) contribution limit. In addition, the NDP would eliminate the stock options tax loophole for CEOs and executives and redirect the funds to low-income families helping to get these families and children out of poverty.

The Federal NDP, under Tom Mulcair’s thoughtful, experienced leadership, has the progressive plan to make life better, fairer, and more affordable for everyday Canadians.

Brian Lynch
President, SDSG Federal NDP riding association

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