Alternative Budget challenges Feds: Stop cutting taxes, start solving problems



    OTTAWA, Feb. 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Stephen Harper government needs to
give up its tax cut addiction and invest in solutions to pressing problems
facing Canadians, says the 2008 Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), released
today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
    AFB 2008 calls the minority government on its irresponsible $190 billion
tax cut giveaway (made in two short years) and presents a budget that
addresses environmental and economic sustainability - without plunging Canada
into a fiscal deficit.
    "Our budget tackles climate change and confronts the financial insecurity
many Canadians struggle with. It will make it easier for Canadians to get to
work each day and give better opportunities to our children. In other words,
we address things this government chooses to ignore," says CCPA Senior
Economist Marc Lee.
    "The Conservatives' answer to everything is a tax cut, but that
ideological mindset has led this minority government to squander a huge fiscal
surplus. We need to take back those tax cuts and put them to work for all
Canadians. Canada is facing big problems - and they require big solutions."
    AFB 2008 works within the context of healthy fiscal surpluses and the
looming threat of an economic downturn to deliver a socially and fiscally
balanced budget that Canadians can count on - in good times and bad. It also
makes this the year of poverty reduction.
    "In 1989 our federal Parliament unanimously agreed to wipe out child
poverty by 2000," says CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan. "It is now 2008
and child poverty rates are the same as they were in 1989 - yet we have
tremendous fiscal capacity to do more.
    "The AFB offers a do-able, affordable poverty reduction strategy in an
era where Canada can well afford to lower intolerably stubborn poverty rates
among our First Nations, women, visible minorities, new Canadians, young
families raising children, and seniors."
    The AFB is coordinated by the CCPA and is the result of collaborative
deliberations by representatives of a wide spectrum of civil society
organizations. It puts Canadians' long-term interests ahead of short-term
political gain, ensuring our national investments benefit the majority and
strengthen our nation economically as well as socially.

    The Alternative Federal Budget is available on the CCPA web site at
http://www.policyalternatives.ca




For further information:

For further information: Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer,
(613) 563-1341 x306

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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