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Budget 2017 disappoints on building a fair economy

Canadians struggling with precarious employment, rising costs, and record household debt got little in the Liberal budget to make Canada’s economy work for them, while the wealthy and well-connected were rewarded.

By failing to follow through on Trudeau’s promise to close CEO stock option loopholes, the federal budget hands over $725 million to the wealthiest CEOs every year. At the same time the budget does not allocate the $155 million needed to end racial discrimination in the provision of welfare services to indigenous children.

“Budgets are about choices and unfortunately Liberals have chosen tax breaks for wealthy CEOs and giveaways to large corporations over helping the unemployed, veterans, and Indigenous children”.

Budget 2017 also pushes forward the Liberal’s plans to privatize public infrastructure that will leave Canadians paying higher prices for generations through new and increased user fees and tolls while private investors get rich. At the same time, there is no mention of concrete plans to address precarious work and to create good full time jobs to replace the tens of thousands that have been lost since the Liberals took office. There is also no tax relief for small and medium businesses.

“Just like the recent words of the Finance Minister, this budget tells Canadians to get used to part-time, low-paid precarious work. Canadians welcome more training opportunities– but they expect them to lead to good full-time work. The government hasn’t put forward a plan to create those jobs and Canadians are waiting.”

In addition to confirming Stephen Harper’s health care funding plan, the federal budget is also a missed opportunity to make the cost of medicine more affordable for Canadians and to save billions by implementing a pharmacare plan. Canada is the only country with universal health care that doesn’t include prescription drug coverage.

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