OTTAWA, April 22, 2015 /CNW/ - The Canadian Association of Social Workers is deeply troubled that the Government of Canada's ability to sustain a strong social safety net for Canadian families and seniors is being lost in a modern day 'Robin Hood' reversal.
Providing small, targeted tax breaks and benefits, Budget 2015 continues making choices that erode current and future governments' fiscal capacity, severely limiting national leadership and program support for a more equitable Canada.
"Budget 2015 reads like the tale of Robin Hood in reverse: providing tax breaks for Canadians least in need at the expense of middle and low income Canadians, and neglecting our long term future," points out CASW President Morel Caissie. "Behind the numbers, there are real people trying to get by – something that social workers see every day."
In regards to the Universal Child Care Benefit increase, while it does support all Canadian families, a more targeted program using savings to top up the income tested Canada Child Tax Benefit would go further to support children in need.
It is clear that a balanced budget is not necessarily an equitable one, as Budget 2015 continues to deepen wealth inequality and neglect Canada's most vulnerable. In particular, the Tax Free Savings Account limit increase and the introduction of Income Splitting will serve as tax breaks for the most economically privileged Canadians while leaving the rest behind. "The Parliamentary Budget Officer himself pointed out that the TFSA increase will disproportionately benefit the wealthy" adds Caissie.
"CASW's pre-budget submission, Promoting Equity for a Stronger Canada, makes achievable and fiscally responsible recommendations to support all Canadians" adds Caissie. "We urge the government to develop a targeted basic income to help support seniors, as well as all individuals who are economically insecure and vulnerable."
Finally, the expansion of Compassionate Care Benefits under Employment Insurance is also welcome, but falls dramatically short of a comprehensive fiscal plan to accommodate Canada's aging population: by 2036, those over 65 will make up a quarter of the population. CASW, in alliance with the Canadian Medical Association, believes that Canada needs to begin planning for that future now and is calling for a multi-year, multi-faceted national senior's strategy.
SOURCE Canadian Association of Social Workers
Image with caption: "Canadian Association of Social Workers (CNW Group/Canadian Association of Social Workers)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150422_C4103_PHOTO_EN_14597.jpg
For further information: Fred Phelps, MSW, RSW, CASW Executive Director, 613-729-6668, Ext. 222