Federal Conservative Budget Doesn’t Speak to Needs of Middle-Class Canadians

February 11, 2014

On Tuesday, February 11, Conservative Finance Minister Jim Flaherty handed down his government’s annual budget. Though the government has tried to claim their agenda is aimed at growing our economy, the Canadian Labour Congress pointed out the substance of the plan lacks any vision about how to stop growing inequality and the continuing slide of the middle class.

“The Minister is just tinkering around the edges. We have almost three million Canadians who are either unemployed, stuck in part-time jobs, or who have given up looking for work altogether. This budget does little to deal with that great waste of talent and skill,” said Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti.

MoveUP President David Black said the government’s budget hype failed to disguise that theirs is a plan that will further slash our public services and do next to nothing to create real economic change. A key example is the Conservatives’ youth internship program, which will create 4,000 internships at best, compared to 400,000 unemployed youth in Canada as of January 2014.

“What this government is doing when it talks about austerity is really cutting services and cutting good, family and community-supporting jobs. They’re asking middle-class families who are already having trouble making ends meet to pay for the cost of the huge corporate tax cuts they’ve made over past years,” Black said.

“People are having trouble making ends meet and they fear especially for the future of their children and grandchildren. Good, family-supporting jobs are the key to Canada’s economic success and we cannot get there with corporate tax cuts and government austerity. Canadians want a government that is committed to fairness and that is not what they are getting in the budget. It’s time for a new vision,” Georgetti added.

For more information on the labour movement’s vision for Canada, visit fairnessworks.ca.