Some things just need to be said...

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Toss party budget plans out the window

“Canada has an Old Age Pension not because New Democrats made it happen as Government, but because we made a government do it. So, also, Medicare. Soon, we could also see National Child Care and Home Care programs.

After the last election we watched as 18 New Democrats who held no seats in Cabinet shifted $5 billion from the pockets of Corporations to services for citizens. Even as you are reading this Canada would be participating in the American Star Wars project were it not for those 18 people holding, not power, but the Balance of Power.

This election is a textbook opportunity for such a moment in history.”
Corky Evans, MLA for Nelson Creston

The Conservatives and Liberals will be spending a great deal of future budget surpluses on huge tax cuts for corporations. The Liberals and Conservatives are also planning on implementing the tax cut for corporations that will cost 900 million dollars a year. The NDP with the balance of power, managed to have 4.6 billion dollar tax cut for corporations supported by the other parties redirected to these items
$1.6 billion
for affordable housing
$1.5 billion in reducing tuition fees
$900 million for the environment including energy efficiency
$500 million for foreign aid
$100 million to protect wages in the event of bankruptcy

The Conservatives plan to cut the GST. The GST tax cut will benefit most Canadians but should be noted that for low-income people the benefit is small compared to the benefit people with high incomes will see.

The basic differences come down to this. The Liberals will spend less from general revenue but are charging some new spending to Employment Insurance. All parties are committing money to federal debt repayment. Conservatives and Liberals will pay off 12 billion dollars in 4 years and the NDP plan suggests 8 billion.

The NDP plan calls for excess revenue to go to debt repayment and it appears that there would be an additional billion dollars a year in money that they have currently allocated for infrastructure and housing that would be financed over the life of the asset as is currently done.

Part of the difference may be the NDP’s plan to repay 5.2 billion over the next four years to the EI fund. These are excess EI funds that come in that are now being used by the government for other than EI purposes. The Conservatives say they will leave EI money in a separate account, but I can’t find it in their document.

So as I see it there is little chance anyone will form a majority so no party can say they will deliver on their platform as a whole, certainly not on budget issues. That being the case we need look at the important issues for each party and how they may be able to get their priorities through a divided house.

No party is going to want an election for another year or more at least. Neither will Canadians want that. The usual Liberal scare tactics have not been working this time out so the chance that the NDP will draw from Liberal support has improved. The next parliament could well have the Conservatives in, short of a majority and thus requiring NDP and or BLOC support to stay there.

Election, Liberal Party, Jack Layton, NDP, , , ,

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