Alternative federal budget: stop tax cuts, deal with problems

Conservatives tax cut promises total $190 billion in two years


Alternative Federal Budge 2008 - Canadian Centre for Policy AlternativesOttawa (26 Feb. 2008) - The Harper Conservative government should end its addiction to tax cuts and invest in solutions to the country's pressing national problems, says the 2008 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB).

Released Monday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), the AFB attacks the Conservatives for fiscal irresponsibility in announcing $190 billion in tax cuts during the short two years they have been in office.

Instead, the CCPA calls for an alternative budget that addresses environmental issues and economic sustainability, arguing that effective action can be taken on both these fronts without again plunging Canada into deficit - as happened the last time the Conservatives held power.

“Our budget tackles climate change and confronts the financial insecurity many Canadians struggle with," the CCPA says.

"It will make it easier for Canadians to get to work each day and to give better opportunities to our children. In other words, we address things this government chooses to ignore,” argues CCPA Senior Economist Marc Lee.

“The Conservatives’ answer to everything is a tax cut, but that ideological mindset has led this minority government to squander a huge fiscal surplus. We need to take back those tax cuts and put them to work for all Canadians. Canada is facing big problems and they require big solutions.”

Time to confront poverty

AFB 2008 works within the context of healthy fiscal surpluses and the looming threat of an economic downturn to propose a socially- and fiscally-balanced budget that Canadians can count on – in good times and bad. It also proposes that the coming year should be one that takes serious action to deal with poverty.

“In 1989 our federal parliament unanimously agreed to wipe out child poverty by 2000,” says CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan.

“It is now 2008 and child poverty rates are the same as they were in 1989. Yet we have tremendous fiscal capacity to do more. The AFB offers a do-able, affordable poverty reduction strategy in an era where Canada can well afford to lower intolerably stubborn poverty rates among our First Nations, women, visible minorities, new Canadians, young families raising children, and seniors.”

The AFB is coordinated by the CCPA and is the result of collaborative deliberations by representatives of a wide spectrum of civil society organizations. It puts Canadians’ long-term interests ahead of short-term political gain, ensuring our national investments benefit the majority and strengthen our nation economically as well as socially.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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