Think tank calls on feds to stop growth-killing austerity | National Union of Public and General Employees

Think tank calls on feds to stop growth-killing austerity

Alternative Federal Budget plan tackles Canadians' real concerns.

Ottawa (13 March 2013) – The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) warns more austerity measures from the federal government could further stall an already stagnant economy.

With the release of its annual Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), the CCPA shows how growth-killing austerity can be replaced by a plan that strengthens the economy, leads to a better quality of life for all Canadians, and eliminates the deficit by 2016.

“Canada has a growth problem, not a deficit problem,” says AFB Coordinator David Macdonald. “Federal government cuts are already affecting our economy and are expected to reduce growth by a third next year. More cuts will only lead to less growth and fewer opportunities for Canadians, something we can ill afford at this time. We need to turn off the austerity auto-pilot and get our economy growing again, particularly for young Canadians.”

The AFB shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously tackle Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns.

"The Europeans have shown conclusively that austerity weakens economies, rather than strengthens them," says CCPA senior economist Armine Yalnizyan. "Instead of budgeting with eyes wide shut, the AFB responds to the issues that most Canadians struggle with every day. It invests in programs that are good for growth and good for Canadians, while balancing the books. Instead of making things worse and leaving Canadians to fend for themselves, the AFB shows we can do better, together."

The AFB plan:

  • reduces poverty and inequality by investing in child care, pharmacare, affordable housing, income supports, and post-secondary education;
  • tackles the ongoing crisis for First Nations housing, drinking water, education;
  • implements a long term, transparent and public plan for investments in infrastructure;
  • creates 300,000 jobs, lowering the unemployment rate to six per cent by 2014; and
  • introduces a new top personal income tax bracket, closes the biggest tax loopholes, and introduces a withholding tax on tax havens.

Anyone following the National Union of Public and General Employees' (NUPGE) All Together Now! campaign will be interested to read the section on Fair and Progressive Taxation as well as the sections on promoting and investing in quality public services.

Each year, the AFB is created with the participation and support of researchers, activists, and a broad spectrum of civil society leadership — representing millions of people living in Canada. NUPGE is a proud supporter of CCPA's work providing an excellent alternative to the Conservative economic vision for Canada.

More information: 

Alternative Federal Budget: Doing Better Together

All Together Now! campaign


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 our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE