Richards reacts to "modest budget"
Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 06:00 am
The Liberal government released the federal budget on Tuesday, one that is being touted as “modest” with major themes that included gender equality and Indigenous issues.
For Banff-Airdrie Conservative MP Blake Richards, the budget serves as a cautionary tale of smoke and mirrors.
“Don’t just accept platitudes – take a look at what is being accomplished … I think you will see very little,” said the three-term MP, who added he is hard-pressed to find much benefit from the budget as it relates to infrastructure or otherwise in his riding.
He is also concerned that promises to improve the lives of Indigenous people and level the playing field for women will be little more than lip service.
Minister of Finance Bill Morneau maintains that the Liberal government will “continue to double down on our plan to invest in the middle class and everyone working hard to join it.”
He flags the budget as providing “equality and growth for a strong middle class” and as “putting people first.”
Conservatives have said that under the Trudeau government, the middle class pockets are the hardest hit of all taxpayers.
“Ninety per cent of middle class families are paying more taxes than when this government took office … never has a government spent so much to accomplish so little,” said Richards, noting the projected deficit of $18.1 billion this year.
Richards is concerned that some of the changes, including how passive income is accounted for small businesses and tax hikes on small business on will prove onerous and harmful to the middle class.
Some budget highlights include funds for Indigenous job training, housing upgrades and foster care services to keep First Nations families together and alleviate pressures on external agencies; getting more women in the workforce; and a commission to establish a national Pharmacare program.
Some $2.6 billion over five years is earmarked to foster scientific investments and gender equity and $3.2 billion for science and research.
The Liberals predict the deficit to continue to decline, down from $19.3 billion last year, including a $3 billion risk adjustment.”
For a full outline visit budget.gc.ca.