·  Media Release   ·  

Purely Political Budget Chooses Short-Term Giveaways Over Long-Term Sustainability

OTTAWA - The Conservative government's election budget is a short-term mix of tax cuts and pre-election giveaways, with no vision for a sustainable economic future, says United Steelworkers' National Director Ken Neumann.

"This is a plan that works for the few at the expense of the many," Neumann said.

"Stephen Harper thinks tax cuts, income splitting and tax-free savings accounts will make up for his lack of leadership in securing the future for Canadians who will not benefit from these short-term measures. Harper's memory is as short as his world view."

Neumann said working Canadians have seen their pensions cut, their health care jeopardized and their ability to find permanent, good-paying jobs hollowed out by a federal government that doesn't believe in the role of government. Even mail delivery will soon be a relic of a distant past when government provided for the majority of its citizens.

"Balance is about more than a spreadsheet or a ledger book," said Neumann. "It's about how we measure the treatment of all our citizens, not just the privileged few who will undoubtedly take advantage of certain provisions in this budget. Canadians want a commitment to public health care, the right to retire with dignity and an industrial strategy that provides employment opportunities and a future for young people. 

"The shell game of selling GM shares to pay for tax cuts should not fool anyone. Through that sale, Conservatives have surrendered an important lever that Ottawa should have used to help rebuild Canadian manufacturing.

"Today's budget is a cynical election ploy that in the end will increase inequality in exchange for this terrible non-government grasping to hang on to power. At the same time, this government plans to wage a silent war on citizens with unnecessary security measures that diminish our rights in a free and democratic society. Sadly, it is supported by the Liberals."

Neumann noted the irony that this Conservative election budget continues long-standing government cuts to services begun by the Liberals prior to 2006.

"The death-by-a-thousand-cuts strategies of successive Liberal and Conservative governments must be challenged by Canadians come October," he said.

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For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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