TORONTO, March 22, 2013 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers union (USW) is
concerned that, while yesterday's federal budget is entitled "Jobs,
Growth and Long-Term Prosperity," its austerity measures threaten all
of those things.
"Statistics Canada reports that 1.3 million Canadians are unemployed and
many more have given up looking for work," said Ken Neumann, USW
National Director for Canada.
"We need investment in important public services and infrastructure to
help create jobs," Neumann said.
"The Conservatives' budget identifies infrastructure as an economic
priority, but it actually reduces infrastructure funding by billions of
dollars," he noted.
Adjusted for inflation, new infrastructure funding through the municipal
GST rebate, Gas Tax Fund, P3 Canada Fund and Building Canada Fund will
be $5 billion less over the next four years than these programs
Transfers to provincial governments and individuals will grow in line
with the economy, but less than previously promised. Direct federal
program spending will be held to the same dollar value over the next
five years, meaning service cuts relative to inflation and population
"The budget aims to cut total federal expenditures to 12.5% of Gross
Domestic Product, almost the lowest level since the Second World War,"
said USW economist Erin Weir.
"The budget includes some positive proposals to close tax loopholes and
strengthen enforcement against tax evasion, but then cuts the Canada
Revenue Agency," Weir said.
The budget also purports to "connect Canadians with available jobs" by
shifting training funds from provincial governments to businesses.
However, Weir emphasized there are six unemployed Canadians for every
available job. Unfortunately, the budget fails to improve employment
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
Erin Weir USW economist, 416-544-6005
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org