Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
This year’s AFB shows how growth-killing austerity can be replaced by a plan that strengthens the economy, leads to a better quality of life for all Canadians, and eliminates the deficit by 2016.
AFB 3 budget docs at http://www.policyalternatives.ca/afb2013
Group claims budget can balance with spending
The Daily Courier (Kelowna)
March 13 2013
… The proposals are contained in the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ annual alternative federal budget, which was released Tuesday. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty has already dismissed it out of hand, sight unseen.
Flaherty said on Friday he has no intentions of ramping up spending to stimulate the weak economy, and instead plans to trim further in order to meet his 2015 balanced budget target.
But the CCPA argues that Flaherty is going about it all wrong, and that his policies will only guarantee continued slow growth for Canada.
Economists believe Canada’s economy will advance by only about 1.7 per cent this year, similar to last year, constituting the worst two years of growth since the recession.
The think-tank points out that austerity has done little in Europe but help sink the continent’s economies, while at the same time driving up deficits as revenues collapsed.
“Canada has a growth problem, not a deficit problem,” says alternative budget co-ordinator David Macdonald.
“More cuts will only lead to less growth and fewer opportunities for Canadians.”
The group notes that at 1.5 per cent of gross domestic product — the economy’s total annual output — and with interest rates at record lows, there’s no reason for Ottawa to obsess about the deficit…
Instead, Flaherty should be investing billions of dollars to rebuild Canada’s infrastructure and in measures to reduce poverty through investments in child care, pharmacare, affordable housing, post-secondary education, and better income supports.
If all the proposals are adopted, the CCPA believes Ottawa will create 300,000 additional jobs and drive down the unemployment rate one point to six per cent by 2014.
To pay for the investments, the alternative budget calls for the creation of a new 35-per-cent tax bracket to kick in on income over $250,000, and a roll-back of corporate tax cuts, which it argues enabled firms to stockpile over $600 billion in cash and securities.