Expectations for the 2009 federal budget

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives has released their 2009 Alternative Federal Budget. Government officials say that the federal government will run a deficit in the coming fiscal year but CCPA say the expected budget will do too little in the face of a prolonged downturn. The CCPA says the budget will likely be too focused on tax cuts which tend to be a poor way to stimulate job creation. CCPA says that this budget will be one of the most important in Canada’s history and should meet five key tests:

1. Help the hundreds of thousands of newly unemployed Canadians by increasing Employment Insurance (EI) benefits from 55% to 60% of insured earnings and extending the period for receiving those benefits to 50 weeks.

2. Support those who need it most, such as unemployed, low-income Canadians and hard hit communities, by making a commitment to reduce poverty in Canada by 25% in the next five years.

3. Implement an ambitious social, physical and green public infrastructure program, creating jobs in both male- and female-dominated professions.

4. Support key value-added sectors with restructuring criteria to ensure they become green and sustainable.

5. Emphasize spending over tax cuts.

More Information

"Playing for an election in budget perilous - Laxer " - January 22, 2009, The Harper Index

"Canada's post-Obama budget" - January 22, 2009, Rabble.ca

"Fraser Institute: Cut taxes, balance budget" - January 26, 2009, The Hook