Bruce Hyer Says Budget Missed Opportunities
OTTAWA – Thunder Bay-Superior North MP and Green Party Deputy Leader Bruce Hyer says the 2014 federal budget, released this afternoon, contained some positive measures that will help the mining and forestry sectors in Northwestern Ontario, but that the budget as a whole was disappointing.
“The Conservatives have spent 113 million taxpayer dollars advertising their alleged fiscal record, but this budget is an ‘Economic Inaction Plan’,” Hyer said. “There are just six pages of actual costing in this budget – we’re left with 415 extra pages of Conservative self-advertising and recycled funding announcements. Large corporations remain grossly undertaxed, while small businesses and families are overtaxed.”
A Few Bronze Medals:
• One-year extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for flow through share investors
• $90 million over four years in continued funding for the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
• $100 million to fund 1000 interest-free loans for apprentices – an important measure, but doesn’t go far enough to support job creation, and businesses continue to import temporary workers instead of providing jobs to unemployed Canadians
• No renewal of the popular ecoEnergy home retrofit program to help reduce home energy bills
• No new funding for desperately needed housing
• Virtually nothing for veterans
• No pension reform
• No rollback of the government’s past years of job-killing payroll tax hikes
• No investment in healthcare, including pharmacare, home care and community healthcare, even as the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has broken the record for overcapacity, and has been in gridlock for five straight weeks!
• No investment in rail, including infrastructure, passenger rail or rail safety; Canada remains the only country in the G20 without a national rail strategy
• No mention of climate change
“Since coming to power, Harper’s Conservatives have handed Canada’s largest companies $60 billion in corporate tax breaks, while the personal income tax rate has increased 22 per cent. There have been huge cuts to the corporate tax rate, to half the rate of the US, and no reductions in tax rates for small businesses,” Hyer said. “Families are being left behind as the government is padding the pockets of their corporate friends.”