OP/ED: Big banks win in new budget
People who lost their jobs and other victims of this recession are the losers in this budget while banks whose profits just doubled hit the jackpot, said New Democrat Leader Jack Layton.
“Budgets are about choices. Mr. Harper has chosen to enrich banks and oil companies, the most profitable corporations in the country, with billions in spending on corporate tax cuts rather than help lift seniors out of poverty by increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement. Instead, they are promising nothing more than to consult seniors about their poverty. That`s not help. That`s a stalling tactic.
“Mr. Harper hasn’t learned anything from this economic crisis, which was triggered by a lack of regulation and reckless risk-taking by banks and financial speculators. Instead, he’s offering more of the same old policies that got us into trouble in the first place.”
In the Speech from the Throne, the Harper government also promised that it would not raise taxes on “hard-working Canadians,” but it did just that in the budget.
“That little box on your paycheque labelled EI is where they are going to hit, starting in 2011, every wage earner and every employer in the country with $19 billion in new taxes. They’re taking from you and giving to the banks and big oil.”
According to BC Southern Interior MP Alex Atamanenko, there is nothing in the budget to address climate change. “They are in effect removing the Environmental Assessment Agency and transferring their responsibility to the National Energy Board. In effect, those promoting development will be the ones policing its effect on the environment,” said Atamanenko. “This is clearly not acceptable. This budget is worse than you could have imagined”.
That tax burden is going to be even heavier for residents of Ontario and British Columbia who will begin, this summer, paying the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on everything from funerals to vitamins, haircuts and movie tickets.
“The sad thing about this whole process is the fact that we have wasted valuable time with prorogation only to come back and receive a lot of glossy booklets that do very little to address those who are suffering,” concluded Atamanenko.