The federal budget will be delivered on March 29, but it won’t contain all the details of the government’s planned spending cuts, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced when he confirmed the date on February 29.
In her March report to the West Kootenay Labour Council, Iris Taylor, Canadian Labour Congress Representative for the Pacific Region, reminded West Kootenay union affiliates that there will be a Federal Budget Watch on March 29.
“Budgets are all about choices”, Taylor stated.
“The middle class is shrinking and the government is allowing it to happen. The gap between Canada’s highest and lowest income earners is growing. It is time for the government to take a larger and stronger role in making the economy work for the average Canadian. This government should be developing policies that ensure Canadians can afford their basic needs in tough times. Ottawa should use this budget to help create good, family-supporting jobs and services, not to destroy them. The budget should improve the retirement security of Canadians, not to undermine it by cutting back on Old Age Security benefits to seniors. Governments have a role to play in job creation and in helping Canadians to meet their basic needs during their working lives and in retirement.”, Taylor continued.
Taylor added that, “The federal government will table a Budget that is widely expected to place a high priority on cutting the deficit through spending cuts, not on job creation.”
The CLC has called on the government to address three key issues—jobs, Employment Insurance, and pensions in its next budget.
“We face a severe social and poverty crisis as tens of thousands of workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own exhaust their EI benefits and as the incomes of working families fall. The crisis has also had a devastating impact upon retirement savings and pension plans.”, Taylor explained.