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The Progressive Economics Forum

Crumbs for you, Cake for us: Budget 2011

If you take a look at this year’s budget and you have an issue that you’re interested in, chances are you’ll find it on the list. There are in fact almost twice as many items on this year’s budget list as the large 2009 stimulus budget. There are some items on seniors, some items on EI, some items for kids, hell, there is even funding for a big Grey Cup party, (hopefully without the Black Eyed Peas).

The budget tastes just like unflavoured yoghurt, as plain as you like it. You can stir it all you want, but you won’t find controversy or a poison pill.

As any kid will tell you, what’s interesting is not that the yoghurt is plain, but what you’ve left out. Where is the strawberry jam??

There are no new estimates of the reckless and on-going corporate tax cuts. There is no estimate of the cost of new jails or new fighter jets. In fact, there is not one word in the entire budget on these extremely expensive, not to mention controversial, programs. From what the CCPA’s crack team of economists has been able to estimate, the government is spending $7.50 on its jails, jets and tax cuts for every $1 of new program spending in the 2011 budget.

So are the proposed changes bad, not really but they sure are small. While GIS changes and EcoEnergy programs are getting crumbs, the big boys on Bay Street got sent the multi-layered cake. The one hidden area is substantial additional cuts to federal departments. Departments will now have to be ready every year for a 0%, 5% or 10% cut. It sure won’t pay to be on the wrong side of treasury for a couple years in a row as you might have a bad string of 10% cuts.

1.4 million Canadians are out of work, households are more indebted than they’ve ever been, private pension sustainability is in question and everyone wonders if health care will be there. The federal government could have taken action on these issues. Certainly the resources are there given what was spent on a small number of Conservative priorities. Instead we’ll have a great Grey Cup half-time show.

Canadians have a right to expect more.

The 2011 Budget Program List:

Program

2010-11

2011-12

2012-13

Total

Page Source

Assistance to Manufacturing Sector

65

65

56

Hiring Credit Small Business

41

124

165

56

Extending Work Sharing

10

10

56

EI Pilot (Work while on benefit)

240

180

420

56

EI Older Workers

25

25

56

Wage Earner Protection

5

5

10

56

Mineral Exploration

120

-30

90

56

Net Fiscal Cost

41

494

215

750

56

Young Entrepreneurs

0

10

10

20

99

Reduce red tape Bizpal

0

3

3

6

99

Prevent Labout Disruptions

1

1

2

99

Canada’s Standards

2

2

99

Clean Tech and Innovation

32

64

96

99

Clean Energy in Abo & North

4

4

8

99

Alaska Pipeline

2

2

4

99

Tax Support Clean Energy Generation

1

2

3

99

Cut Fossil fuel subsidies

-15

-30

-45

99

AECL

364

1

365

99

Canada India Research Centre

3

3

99

Civil Avation Org

1

1

2

99

Financial Literacy

3

3

6

99

Coast to Coast highway

30

30

99

Bridges Montreal

15

47

62

99

Federal Infrastructure

1

3

4

99

Small Harbours

14

1

15

99

Ag Innovation

25

25

50

99

Plant and Animal Health Risks

-24

19

13

8

99

Agri-Quebec

5

1

6

99

Strengthening Food Safety

9

8

17

99

Forestry Innovation

60

60

99

Total

-24

554

194

724

Net Fiscal Total

-24

469

90

535

99

Enhancing GIS

223

307

530

131

New Horizons

5

5

10

131

Tax credit Caregivers

40

160

200

131

Caregiver medical expenses

1

3

3

7

131

Flexible RDSP

3

1

4

131

End of Life Care

3

3

131

Child Arts Tax Credit

25

100

100

225

131

Volunteer FireFighters

5

15

15

35

131

Forgive Loans for Doctor & Nurses

9

9

131

Harbourfront Centre

5

5

10

131

Calgary Stampede

5

5

131

Grey Cup

5

5

131

Periodical Fund

15

15

30

131

Royal Conservatory

8

8

131

CBC/Radio-Can

60

60

131

On-Reserve Fuel Tanks

10

12

22

131

Clean Air Reg

122

131

253

132

Clean Energy Reg

43

43

86

132

Clean Transport

22

26

48

132

Climate Change Adaptation

25

33

58

132

Int Climate Change

13

13

26

132

EcoEnergy

400

400

132

Protect Great Lakes

2

3

5

132

National Parks

0.3

1

1.3

132

Toxic Chemicals

100

100

200

132

Weather Services

10

16

26

132

Air Travel Security

0.2

0.1

0.3

132

Youth Crime

10

10

20

132

Safe Abo Communities

15

15

30

132

Nunavut Justice

2

2

4

132

War Crimes

8

8

16

132

Federal Victims

13

13

26

132

Firearms waiver

17

4

21

132

Total

31

1302.5

1050.1

2383.6

Net Fiscal Cost

31

980

768

1779

132

Accelerated adoption of IT

20

30

50

156

Showcasing digital Content

100

100

200

156

NSERC

15

15

30

156

CIHR

15

15

30

156

SSHRC

7

7

14

156

Indirect costs of Research

10

10

20

156

World Talen

10

10

156

Treatment brain disorders

10

10

20

156

Genomics Research

65

65

156

Isotope Production

2

1

3

156

Climate and Atmosphere research

7

7

14

156

Perimeter Institute

10

10

156

Advancing Clean Tech

20

20

40

156

Commercializing Research

4

7

11

156

Student Loans:income exemption

24

30

54

156

Student Loans: no interest part time

2

5

7

156

Adult Ed in North

2

7

9

156

RESP Students Abroad

3

10

156

Tax cut for Cert Examiners

1

5

10

156

International Ed

5

5

10

156

Total

309

297

617

Total Fiscal Cost

$ 2,252

$ 1,370

$ 3,681

Enjoy and share:

Comments

Comment from duncan cameron
Time: March 22, 2011, 1:31 pm

The spin out of the Finance Dept., courtesy of the Globe, is that tax loopholes are being closed:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/budget/news/where-will-tories-find-spare-cash-close-1-billion-in-tax-loopholes/article1935351/
What about access to tax havens?

Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: March 22, 2011, 1:46 pm

Jack is a dude and rejected the budget- just watching the press conference now.

Bring on the election and progressives gets your pencils and keyboards cleaned.

Comment from Larry Mutter
Time: March 27, 2011, 12:52 pm

Tea party Economics

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