'No sense of priority' in federal budget, says CLC President Ken Georgetti

OTTAWA ... -There is a small gift for everyone, its all over the place but there is no sense of priority and no sense of vision for the country in this budget," says Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, outlining two reasons why the budget fails the middle class that is the backbone of this country.

-First, it unfairly channels more money to wealthy individuals and profitable corporations. Second, this budget greatly erodes the federal governments capacity to improve the quality of life of working people, families and communities," explains Georgetti.

-The real giveaways are for people with lots of money and they will get them immediately. The rest of us will have to wait next year to get a few hundred dollars."

The budget increases the lifetime capital gains exemption for business owners by $250,000 immediately and maintains the tax cuts previously scheduled for corporations. Most of the measures to help students, workers, and families will take effect next year.

The newly-designed capital cost allowance write-off for manufacturing investments is a good first step to address the crisis in the goods producing sectors, as is the newly-announced $500 million for labour market training, next year. However, more needs to be done urgently.

-What is in this budget for workers who recently lost their jobs in the manufacturing sector? Or fear that their job is at risk."

-What is in this budget for newcomers in Alberta looking for affordable housing?"

-What is in this budget for young families who cannot find decent reliable and affordable child care?"

-In all three cases, the answer is nothing. They will have to wait."

-This budget is a plan to make the federal government powerless when working Canadians expect it to lead the effort to sustain our quality of life in a more competitive global economy," concludes Georgetti. -The thrust of the governments choices constrains investment in public programs that would benefit all Canadians. The measures announced in todays budget ... coming on top of the previously-scheduled corporate tax cuts implemented since 2000 now costing $10 billion per year ... will make it harder to finance a national pharmacare program, sectoral development, child care and early learning and other critical priorities."

CLC analysis of budget