Big-spending Harper Tories fast exhausting federal surplus

Pre-election spending spree may wipe out $9.2 billion surplus by the end of 2007, says Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

 

Ottawa (16 May 2007) - The Harper Conservative government is on the brink of exhausting its fiscal surplus on a pre-election spending binge that is at odds with what Canadians want, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The Centre released a national Environics poll today showing that any government that takes concrete action to reduce Canada’s growing income gap would enjoy support from the majority of Canadians.

Yet the Centre’s 2007 Alternative Federal Budget, released March 15, warns that the federal surplus that should be used to invest in Canadian priorities could quickly disappear.

“Prime Minister Harper’s tax cuts plan is so expensive, he may soon find himself having to choose between putting the nation back into deficit or slashing programs,” says CCPA senior economist Ellen Russell.

The Centre predicts the 2006-07 surplus will be $9.2 billion but the Harper government will need more money than this to pay for its pre-election promises. The surplus could run out as early as next year.

“There may soon be no surplus left to address Canadians’ priorities, such as child care, affordable housing and tuition,” Russell says. “Prime Minister Harper is putting Canada into a no-win situation – and he’s at odds with what Canadians say they want.”

This year’s Alternative Federal Budget shows there is a way to invest the surplus in tangible programs that support Canada’s working families while keeping the nation in a balanced budget situation.

The new Conservative federal budget will be presented in Parliament on Monday. NUPGE

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