NDP REALITY CHECK: TOP TEN WAYS BUDGET 2016 SHORTCHANGES CANADIANS
March 24th, 2016 - 1:21pm
The Liberal budget was long on rhetoric but short on dollars when it came to keeping their promises to Canadians.
While wealthy CEOs were told they could keep their $800 million-a-year stock option tax loophole, seniors, youth, First Nations, public transit riders and so many others in need were all left waiting for help.
Here’s the Top Ten list of how Liberals shortchanged Canadians in their budget:
- 1. FIRST NATIONS
First Nation Education & Training
PROMISE: $2.6 billion over four years for First Nations education, $50 million for skills training and $50 million for PSE.
REALITY: Budget delayed education funding, slashed skills training by 90% and left out PSE.
- Total shortchange: $230 million on First Nations education, $45 million on skills training and $50 million on post-secondary education in the first year alone.
PROMISE: Pledged to respect the ruling of the Human Rights Tribunal, which experts say costs $200 million this year alone.
REALITY: Budget missed the mark by more than half, with just $71 million this year.
- Total shortchange: $130 million in the first year.
- 2. INFRASTRUCTURE
PROMISE: $1.675 billion per year in each of the next two years for Public Transit, $1.675 billion for Green Infrastructure and $1.675 billion for Social Infrastructure.
REALITY: The budget halved the investment in public transit, more than halved Green Infrastructure and substantially cut social infrastructure spending.
- Total shortchange: $802 million for public transit, $1.543 billion for green infrastructure and $1.097 billion for social infrastructure over the two years – for a two year total shortfall of $3.442 billion on infrastructure compared to Liberal campaign commitments.
- 3. HOUSING
PROMISE: $520 million over four years in tax incentives for construction of new affordable rental housing, $5 million per year for improvements to the RRSP Home Buyer’s Plan, and renewing co-op housing agreements that support rent-geared-to-income units.
REALITY: The Budget had no sign of any of these promises.
- Total shortchange: $265 million over two years and lost subsidized units.
- 4. SENIORS
PROMISE: Boost GIS benefits for low-income seniors “immediately” and index OAS and GIS benefits to a new Seniors Price Index.
REALITY: Budget makes seniors wait until July – 9 months after the election – for an increase to GIS and fails to index of benefits.
- Total shortchange: $297 million this year and $196 million next year
- 5. YOUTH
PROMISE: $455 million for a youth job strategy, including enhancing the Youth Employment Strategy, creating a new Youth Service program and funding for coop placements.
REALITY: Budget under-delivered on every measure promised – delivering only $295 million this year and $150 million next year.
- Total shortchange: $365 million over two years.
- 6. PARENTS
PROMISE: More flexible parental leave with an investment of $125 million per year.
REALITY: Budget failed to introduce any changes and said only they will be considered in the future.
- Total shortchange: $155 million over two years.
- 7. CAREGIVERS
PROMISE: Expand access to compassionate care benefits to support people caring for loved ones with serious illnesses.
REALITY: The Budget failed to deliver and delayed any action to some unspecified later date.
- Total shortchange: $238 million over two years.
- 8. SMALL BUSINESS
PROMISE: Proceed with planned small business tax reductions and invest $100 million a year to support small business R&D.
REALITY: The Budget cancelled planned tax cuts for small businesses and slashed R&D to a one-time $50 million investment.
- Total shortchange: $50 million this year and $100 million next year, plus $900 million in tax cuts
- 9. HEALTH
PROMISE: $3 billion over four years for home care.
REALITY: Budget included nothing for homecare – and nothing for undoing Stephen Harper’s planned cuts to health care transfers to the provinces.
- Total shortchange: $400 million this year and $600 million next year or $3 billion over four years
- 10. AGRICULTURE
PROMISE: $100 million over four years in agricultural research and $160 million over four years in a new Agri-Food Value Added Investment Fund, and $80 million more for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
REALITY: The Budget slashed research funding to just $30 million over six years, cut new CFIA investments to $12 million and dropped any mention of the value added investment fund.
- Total shortchange: $132 million over two years.
Who didn’t get shortchanged in the Liberal’s budget?
Well, wealthy CEOs can still avoid paying their fair share of taxes on stock option income – a broken Liberal promise that will cost taxpayers $1.6 billion over the next two years.
After pledging that his government would be different from promise-breaking Liberal governments past – Justin Trudeau then delivered a budget that broke promise after promise to Canadians who can least afford it.