Wednesday, June 8, 2011

On Balance - Growth vs Cuts

This marks the first in a new feature for The Incendiary Collective, where we will very intentionally (and for a change) give equal time to the Conservative POV, posting "the other side" of the issue in tandem with our usual editorial sniping. We do this not because we believe in balance and objectivity here at The Incendiary Collective (although, largely speaking, we do), but because we are confident that the Conservative positions on most issues will become even more inexplicable when expressed in their own words.

******************* columnist Toby Sanger says that not only will the anticipated slashes in federal spending be painful for those Canadians least able to cope with them, but will also be damaging for the economy.

The Harper government's June Budget is almost entirely a reprinted version of the budget they tabled two-and-a-half months ago in March. Outside of $2.2 billion for Quebec's sales tax harmonization and the elimination of federal support for political parties, there's nothing new in the budget -- and that's the problem.

While the budget includes a few positive measures, many of which were proposed by the NDP -- such as increases to GIS payments for seniors, reintroducing incentives for energy retrofits -- they are overshadowed by what's bad and what's not there.

Most troubling are the $5 billion in cuts to public services for Canadians that will pay for their over $6 billion in corporate tax cuts with much of the benefits going to highly profitable banks, finance and oil companies. When public investments provide six times as much economic boost and jobs as corporate tax cuts, this type of trade off will endanger an already faltering economy and do nothing for the many millions of Canadians out of work or struggling with their household finances.

To read more of this content at, click here.

As expected, the opposite position is occupied by the ruling Conservatives, foremost among them Finance Minister Flaherty...who says cuts are "no big deal".

"Finding $4 billion to cut from the federal government's $80 billion in program expenses is no big deal, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said Tuesday.

Speaking on CBC News Network the morning after unveiling his latest budget in the House of Commons, Flaherty denied the cuts were anything like the ones he took part in while a minister in the Ontario government of Mike Harris, which touched off outrage across the province."

To read more of this content at CBC News, click here.

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