Pre Budget Report: Party Positioning on Economic Issues

The House of Commons Finance Committee has just released its pre Budget report and recommendations. There’s a lot of common denominator all party agreement here, including on some modestly useful items. The report focuses on the impacts of thr high dollar and on tax measures. 

What I find perhaps most interesting – and rather disturbing – is the lack of Liberal positioning to the left in their short additional statement. They actually castigate the Conservatives for increasing program spending at a faster pace than under Liberal governments, and explicitly call for a major focus on personal income tax cuts. That doesn’t mesh easily with a progressive social or environmental investment agenda now that surpluses have evaporated – and they are indeed pretty tepid in what they have to say on both of these fronts.

The NDP – now fronted by Quebec MP Thomas Mulcair – hits a few key progressive themes – the need to slow down the pace of tar sands development,  the need for targeted industrial measures as opposed to across the board tax cuts, and the need for much more infrastructure investment.

Worth a quick read for its short summaries of positions taken by various and sundry associations, and for its costing of some proposals.

One comment

  • Andrew’s comments deserve wide circulation. A GAI could be progressive but many proposals are not.
    What about building on the GST tax credit? It seems to represent the kernel of a GAI already. Have the cuts to the GST opened the door to reduction of the tax credit?

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