It’s that time of year again when everyone connected with politics starts looking at what could be, or more precisely, what should be in the federal budget.
It’s the Ottawa equivalent of sharing home remedies for the common cold. There’s no shortage of advice on the best way to treat whatever ails the Canadian economy.
More spending on infrastructure! Drop the proposed price on carbon! Impose new or more user fees! Raise the minimum wage! Incentives for key industries!
This year is no different. The chatter’s underway even though Finance Minister Bill Morneau hasn’t confirmed when he plans to table his second effort at directing the country’s fiscal policies. It could be as early as the first week of March; it could just as easily be the end of the month.
‘Paying more and getting less’
The Conservatives certainly aren’t waiting for the date to be announced. This week, interim Leader Rona Ambrose led the Official Opposition’s efforts to argue the Liberals, far from helping the middle class as promised in the 2015 campaign, are actually hurting them.
“Canadians are paying more and getting less,” she said during question period Wednesday. “The Liberals are hiking taxes and adding debt. And for what? Canadians were promised a stronger economy and better jobs, but a lot of the jobs created are not better. Only one in five jobs created have been full time.”
The prime minister, not surprisingly, insisted everything his government does is with the best interests of the middle class in mind.
“We lowered taxes on the middle class by raising them on the wealthiest one per cent,” Justin Trudeau said. “We brought in the Canadian child benefit that gives more money to nine out of 10 Canadian families, which will help them with the costs of groceries, school supplies and raising their kids.”
We’ll see more of these…