Who the "family friendly" budget forgot


temperance
#1
Nearly 60 percent of families won't be eligible for tax credits in budget.

Dateline: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

by Armine Yalnizyan
The new message Canadians are sending their politicians is very clearly about better access to services, not tax cuts.
The Harper government wants you to believe that average families are squarely at the centre of their budget spending this year.
Before you celebrate this "something for everyone" approach to politics, consider this: A striking number of Canadians actually won't benefit from much of what is promised in this budget.
Most Canadian tax filers 59 percent report incomes of less than $30,000. Most of them will not be eligible for this budget's billions in promised tax credits.
86 percent of Canadians want the government to reduce the growing income gap.

Why? Revenue Canada statistics show people with incomes of less than $30,000 make up 99 percent of those who pay no taxes 7.3 million tax filers. Tax credits don't reach people who don't pay taxes.
The only income "relief" for this group of voters goes to people who earn more than $3,000 but less than $9,500 in a year (or a family that earns less than $14,500).
The good news is that these people get a $500 benefit. The bad news is, that's the only help on the horizon a measure designed to help encourage those on welfare to join the ranks of the "working poor" offers $1.37 a day.
No Canadian truly believes $1.37 a day can address the real needs of those struggling to pay the rent and feed the kids, let alone put them through school or save for retirement.
Two recent polls, conducted by The Strategic Council and Environics Research, show that tax cuts are widely viewed as yesterday's answer to yesterday's problems.
Canadians see strong economic growth and bulging federal coffers. Sure they'll take a tax cut, but they view social spending as a higher priority to meet today's challenges.
A whopping 86 percent of Canadians told Environics Research they think government should take concrete action to reduce Canada's growing income gap. And they know exactly what they want, for themselves and for society at large.
The new message Canadians are sending their politicians is very clearly about affordability. It's about better access to services, not tax cuts. Most say a few more dollars in the pocket ranks way down the wish list.
They want assistance with the things they need but can't control: basics like childcare, the skyrocketing costs of tuition for skills development and upgrading, housing and transit.
Politicians who address these issues have the backing of the vast majority of Canadians.
To their credit, the Conservatives almost got this message, but the spending they offered in this budget missed the mark, with no coherent plan to tackle Canadian concerns. This year's budget puts plenty of new money into infrastructure investments, but most of that money is going to enhance borders, highways and "gateways" to trade.
We are still waiting for the money that makes cities more liveable and builds better lives.
The new funds offered to provinces are not designed to ensure that the money gets used to tackle the big issues, nor to ensure every region of the country has enough to move forward.
The basics need to be there for everyone. Tax cuts can't buy affordable, accessible services for all.
Nor can strong economic growth and robust markets, by themselves, do the job. The only way is when governments, all governments, get involved, through direct investment.
Canadians aren't just worried about pocketbook issues. They are worried about the direction in which this country is headed.
In an Environics Research poll last fall, 76 percent of Canadians worried that a growing gap, left unchecked, would lead to more crime and would make Canada more like the US something they don't want.
This budget may be celebrated as a masterful spin document, but in terms of substance its biggest failure is that it refuses to address, head on, one of the most pressing issues of our era: growing inequities in an era of incredible affluence.
It barely addresses the 15 percent of Canadian families raising their children on less than $30,000.
It has no answer for persistent and deepening poverty among our First Nations and aboriginal peoples. A year from now we will still be faced with these challenges, but will we have a surplus to deal with them?
It's incredible that we should be concerned about that possibility, because there is $35 billion in "surprise surplus" that is being frittered away in this pre-election period. It could have bought all the change Canadians are looking for, and more.
This government is banking on buying Canadians' votes with a budget that puts pressing social problems on hold. It's the cheap and easy way out in the short term. In the long term, Canadians will pay the price.
As alluring as tax cuts are, many Canadians are starting to connect the dots: A tax cut today means service cuts tomorrow.
We can do better. With $35 billion in surplus "mad money" we should have done better. It's time to demand better. Armine Yalnizyan is a research fellow with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and research director for the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto.
 
BitWhys
#2
Good article but if the TV hasn't told people they want it, which isn't very likely because you can't buy a knock-off of it at WalMart, they won't do a damn thing about it. Its the same game as always, pander to the advantaged and convince everyone else that if they don't get theirs its due to their own inadequecies. Liberal, Tory, same old story. I've gotta admit this batch is good at it.
 
CDNBear
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by BitWhys View Post

Good article but if the TV hasn't told people they want it, which isn't very likely because you can't buy a knock-off of it at WalMart, they won't do a damn thing about it. Its the same game as always, pander to the advantaged and convince everyone else that if they don't get theirs its due to their own inadequecies. Liberal, Tory, same old story. I've gotta admit this batch is good at it.

Who are you and what have you done with the Bit I love to hate?

That was an excellent post, I agree whole heartedly.
 
BitWhys
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBear View Post

Who are you and what have you done with the Bit I love to hate?

That was an excellent post, I agree whole heartedly.

heh. thanks for saying so.

I don't know. I think this last budget has been some sort of catharsis for me, which is odd because I haven't even read the details yet. Haven't had the stomach for it. Between it and the whole Wheat Board thing at least I know that the last couple of years hasn't just been my imagination.
 
El Barto
#5
That 1.37 a day is for the coffee at Tim Hortin so you can contemplat why you voted Conservative.
 
temperance
#6
I feel like I was also in some time warp ,the last 10 years - unable to express what I meant ,not able to find the voice of my rebellious youth --I was in waiting ??-- could it be I stopped drinking tap water --lol


rebellious youth -I mean I questioned everything ,need to know why ,when -what outcomes would be --I cared for more than just myself ,

I want Canada to see its people unite and hear the resounding NO this is not good enough across the country ---
 
TenPenny
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by temperance View Post

Revenue Canada statistics show people with incomes of less than $30,000 make up 99 percent of those who pay no taxes 7.3 million tax filers.

That's good news on two fronts: I'd hate to think that there were very many people making over $30,000 and paying no taxes, and it's nice that so many people don't have to pay taxes.

I've read that article twice, and all I can think of it: what, exactly, is the point of the article? It has no focus, and rambles on in twelve different directions. I think the first 'service' cut to be made is to whoever funded this article. It's poorly written and has no coherent point, other than the fact that the author doesn't like the budget, because they have figured out that, if you don't pay taxes, a tax reduction doesn't mean money in your pocket.

7.3 million people pay NO taxes, yet file returns? Our population is what, 30 million? How many of them are kids, and therefore don't file returns. Maybe 20%? So out of maybe 24 million, almost a third don't pay taxes? No wonder the other 16 million taxpayers are tired of carrying the burden.
 
crit13
#8
Quote:

7.3 million people pay NO taxes, yet file returns? Our population is what, 30 million? How many of them are kids, and therefore don't file returns. Maybe 20%? So out of maybe 24 million, almost a third don't pay taxes? No wonder the other 16 million taxpayers are tired of carrying the burden.

That is in fact true. One third of all Canadians do not pay any income tax at all. This is why I was in favour of the GST cut. Every last Canadian pays some GST.

I would bet dollars to donuts that the author of that article wrote a similar one last time criticizing the GST cut.

You can't please everyone and there are those who don't want to be pleased. Especially if the government in power is not of their liking.
 
temperance
#9
Oh yeah lets believe Rev Canada
http://www.fin.gc.ca/budget00/bp/bpch4_4e.htm
 
darkbeaver
Republican
#10
Tax the rich and the corporations till they whine and scream, then boot them out of the country. Let them join Conrad and Barbi.
 
crit13
#11
Quote:

Tax the rich and the corporations till they whine and scream, then boot them out of the country.

Great plan. That's exactly what the Soviet Union and Cuba did.

Ask them how well it's working for them.
 

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