Nova Scotians "net losers" in latest Harper Budget - CUPE Nova Scotia

    HALIFAX, March 20 /CNW/ - The president of CUPE Nova Scotia says working
families in Nova Scotia are net losers in the latest budget from the Harper
    Danny Cavanagh says, "On top of the much publicized betrayal on
equalization payments, none of the funding earmarked for the provinces is
actually required to go to social programs, education, or public spending
programs at all, even though this is what a majority of Canadians want.
    "Only the Canada Health Transfer has conditions attached to it, and these
are rarely enforced. In a nutshell, the federal government is washing its
hands of accountability for social programs, except through the tax system,"
says Cavanagh.
    "What's more," says Cavanagh, "the additional funding for many of the
transfers is actually a cut compared to what the federal government
historically provided to provinces.
    "Federal cash transfers to provinces for post-secondary education, for
instance, should be at least $4.25 billion this year to restore funding to
1992/3 levels in real per person terms. Instead, federal transfers are only up
to $3.2 billion," he says.
    "Funding to provinces for child care has increased by $250 million, but
let's not forget this is a cut from the $1.2 billion that was promised in 2005
for a national early learning and child care program," says Cavanagh. "This is
not going to help Nova Scotia build the kind of universal, public child care
system that working families need.
    "Underneath the pretty packaging, the budget reinforces the
Conservatives' stealth agenda to weaken national social programs and diminish
the role of public services in Canada," says Cavanagh.

For further information:

For further information: Danny Cavanagh, President, CUPE Nova Scotia,
(902) 957-0822 (Cell); John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative,
(902) 455-4180 (o)

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Atlantic Region

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