Friday, September 28

Tax Cuts Come With a High Price

In a week that saw the National Association of Women and the Law forced to close its doors because of funding cuts and the announcement of drastic funding cuts at Environment Canada that threaten environmental monitoring programs and the Canadian Wildlife Service,

Canadians should question the Harper Government's constant refrain that budgetary surpluses should be directed towards tax cuts. The government announced on Thursday that it will use part of its nearly $14 billion budget surplus to fund $725 million in tax cuts - an amount that adds up to about $35 for every taxpayer.

"Thursday's announcement is one more example that shows the Harper government's budgetary policy is out of touch with the views of Canadians, including the members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. We all want more services not less," says John Gordon, National President of the PSAC. In the face of such a huge surplus it seems only fair to question this government's history of program cuts, including:

  • eliminating the court challenges program
  • closing regional offices and cutting funding for advocacy and research programs sponsored by the Status of Women Canada
  • eliminating funding for the Canadian Policy Research Networks
  • backing out of federal-provincial childcare agreements

Increased spending is part of the solution not part of the problem. This fact becomes clearer with each passing day as government neglect of its infrastructure puts the health and safety of citizens at risk.

The situation is no better when it comes to Canada's social infrastructure. Here too, the federal government can and should do more to meet the legitimate needs of its citizens. Rather than offering piece-meal tax cuts, the PSAC says the government should be taking on national priorities like publicly-funded pharmacare, childcare programs, literacy and more resources - not less - directed at levelling the playing field for Aboriginal peoples.


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