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The Progressive Economics Forum

Budget 2015: Robin Hood in Reverse

Here’s a link to the longer analysis I prepared of the federal budget, now on-line at CUPE’s website, to accompany the press release and notes we put out immediately following the budget.

The entire document may be too long to post here, so here’s the 1st two paragraphs.

The Big Picture: more tax cuts for the rich: nothing for jobs and working Canadians.

The Conservative’s 2015 federal budget demonstrates they have nothing new to offer workers and the majority of Canadians. Once again it includes tax cuts for business and the wealthy, and nothing substantial to create decent jobs or to help Canadians struggling to make ends meet. In fact, it takes money from workers contributed through the surpluses in the Employment Insurance fund to pay for these tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations.

The Conservative’s economic policies and spending cuts are destroying jobs, squeezing workers’ wages, slowing down economic growth and making it harder for working families to get by.

_______________

Economics is the dismal science, but I have to admit that the budget is not without elements of unintended humour–but you have to wade deep in to find them.

On page 345, it states that they will improve the integrity of federal procurement.

The Government will take action by introducing a new government-wide integrity regime for its procurement and real property transactions to ensure that it does business with ethical suppliers in Canada and abroad.”

This comes right after they just announced they will give the multi-billion dollar P3 contract to rebuild Montreal’s Champlain Bridge to a consortium including SNC Lavalin, a company that was recently charged with fraud in relationship to another P3, the multibillion McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), and banned from contracts by the World Bank for ten years because of its extensive record of bribery, corruption and fraud. The Champlain Bridge project’s costs have already almost doubled as a P3. SNC-Lavalin has some conservative connections and the former CEO of the MUHC was Arthur Porter, who Harper had also appointed to chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee.  He was arrested for fraud in Panama in relation to kickbacks from SNC-Lavalin on the MUHC project and is awaiting extradition.

On page 339, the budget states it has closed over 90 tax loopholes since 2006 — but of course these pale in relation to the massive new tax loopholes they are creating!

 

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