Federal surplus evaporating: Think-tank - Harper plan at odds with Canadian priorities

    OTTAWA, March 15 /CNW Telbec/ - The Harper government is on the brink of
exhausting its fiscal surplus on a pre-election spending plan that is at odds
with what Canadians want, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
    The Centre released a national Environics poll today showing that any
government that takes concrete action to reduce Canada's growing income gap
would enjoy support from the majority of Canadians.
    Yet the Centre's 2007 Alternative Federal Budget, released today, warns
that the federal surplus that should be used to invest in Canadian priorities
could quickly disappear.
    "Prime Minister Harper's tax cuts plan is so expensive, he may soon find
himself having to choose between putting the nation back into deficit or
slashing programs," says CCPA senior economist Ellen Russell.
    The Centre predicts the 2006-07 surplus will be $9.2 billion, but the
Harper government will need more money than this to pay for its pre-election
promises. The surplus could run out as early as next year.
    "There may soon be no surplus left to address Canadians' priorities, such
as child care, affordable housing and tuition," Russell says.
    "Prime Minister Harper is putting Canada into a no-win situation - and
he's at odds with what Canadians say they want."
    This year's Alternative Federal Budget shows there is a way to invest the
surplus in tangible programs that support Canada's working families while
keeping the nation in a balanced budget situation.

For further information:

For further information: Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer,
(613) 563-1341 x306, (613) 266-9491; Alternative Federal Budget 2007: Strength
in Numbers is available from the CCPA web site:

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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