Tax cut budget out of step with Canadians' priorities

    OTTAWA, March 19 /CNW Telbec/ - Today's federal budget may be a
short-term attempt to buy votes but it fails to address the long-term
priorities of most Canadians, says the Canadian Centre for Policy
    Two recent national polls one by Environics Research, the other by
Strategic Counsel show overwhelming public support for government investment
in social programs that benefit all Canadians and that tackle persistent
poverty as well as income inequality "the other 'inconvenient truth' of our
    "This is a budget that attempts to buy off low- and middle-income
families with tax cuts and provinces with transfers," says Ellen Russell,
senior economist for the Centre. "The Harper government has opted for a second
round of targeted tax cuts instead of building through social programs that
Canadians say they really want."
    "There are many things tax cuts just can't do. Tax cuts cannot create
child care spaces, build affordable housing, or lower the cost of
post-secondary education. Any government serious about helping working
families would invest in these services."
    The Centre is also critical of the budget promise to transfer almost
$5 billion to the provinces over two years with no strings attached.
    "Without strings attached, the provinces are free to spend the money on
lawn mowers instead of guaranteeing they will tackle poverty and inequality
head-on," says Bruce Campbell, executive director of the Centre.
    "The Harper budget is about nation dismantling, not nation building. A
transfer without any conditions or standards is an abdication of leadership.
    Nation building is far more than being a tax collector for the
provinces," concludes Campbell.

For further information:

For further information: Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer,
(613) 563-1341 x306 or (613) 266-9491

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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