Tuesday, March 20, 2007

the budget

Yesterday I was stark mad at the budget that was brought down by Jim Flaherty. So I decided to take a day to reflect and then write a post on what I thought the main problem of the budget was.

The first is that I keep hearing this is a budget for families. I don’t mind focused budgets on specific issues providing that they do not neglect other Canadians. Lets not forget that this government was elected to represent everyone, not central Canada and working families ONLY. To me it seems like Harper has decided to buy votes via nifty tax regulations focuses on middle class families. In reality this tax relief doesn’t amount to much, but it’s enough to buy a new tv or stereo.

What this budget needed was tax relief that would help families pay down debts. Real tax cuts or a shift in the gradual tax bracket is needed.

As a right leaning Liberal I was quite disappointed. If you put serious money back in the middle class, they will stimulate the economy. With less debt people will spend more and be able to afford post secondary or continuing education, more environmentally friendly products and spending on consumer goods. These areas of spending all lead towards a knowledge based economy and prosperity for all Canadians.

I was also surprised to see spending balloon. What amazed me is that there wasn’t focused long term strategy spending on initiatives. Rather it seemed as if this budget was geared to line the Conservatives up for an election within the next year. I figured out of all parties the CONS would understand that sooner or later the market would slow and saving money for a rainy day or paying down the deficit would have been a much better idea then blowing spending and poor tax schemes and misguided views of a ‘fiscal imbalance’.

Not even going to talk about the environment because I think we can all agree this budget didn’t even address the tip of the iceberg on the issue…

Lastly I think this budget really shows a lack of long term planning. There was virtually nothing for post secondary education. I applaud the idea of revamping Canada Student Loans and investing $800 million nationally in post secondary education, but this is not a small country with small post secondary problems. What I believe was needed was tax incentives for students who continue on past their third and fourth year of education in Canada. It is statistically proven that students with higher education gain more meaningful employment with higher wages. We must ensure that we train and keep these individuals in Canada with seriously focused tax incentives and debt assistance.


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