March 22 marked the unveiling of the 2017 federal budget.
This budget is consistent with what we expected: more reckless spending, no results and higher taxes.
There is nothing new or innovative found within the budget as well. In fact, many of the programs are recycled and repackaged Conservative programs.
There continues to be no plan or commitment to jobs attached to any funding from this government.
This budget confirms that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke his promise to keep deficit spending under $10 billion a year and to balance the budget by 2019.
Instead of limiting his out-of-control spending, the prime minister wants to borrow billions more, $13.3 billion over six years to be exact.
Once again, Trudeau has hiked taxes and eliminated more tax credits on Canadian families, students and small businesses in order to compensate for the ballooning deficit.
Our previous Conservative government was focused on supporting families. That is why Conservatives implemented initiatives like the Universal Child Care Benefit, Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, Children’s Art Tax Credit, as well as tax credits for post-secondary education and textbooks, and income splitting for families.
Unfortunately, since taking office the Liberals have eliminated these initiatives one by one, with the Public Transit Tax Credit and the Family Caregiver Tax Credits being the latest on the chopping block for 2017.
The budget also failed to appoint a minister for seniors to help address the current and serious issues facing our aging population.
In addition, the 2017 budget does nothing to help veterans and their families who are struggling today. It delays funding for our veterans and offers no details regarding one of the Liberals’ biggest commitments, which was to re-establish lifelong pensions as an option for injured veterans.
During the 2015 federal election, the Liberals claimed that ensuring a smooth transition from military to civilian life for Canada’s brave men and women in uniform was a top priority. However, since getting elected, the Liberals have repeatedly refused to implement the Defence Ombudsman’s simple solutions.
Our veterans deserve programs and benefits which can be sustained over the long term and are designed to meet their ever evolving needs.
Small businesses will also be feeling the pressure of the new proposed budget changes.
Small businesses will be under yet more scrutiny from tax authorities, and payroll taxes will be higher as Employment Insurance premiums go up from $1.61 to $1.68 per $100 in earnings.
Legislation to hike fees for businesses using government services will be introduced.
In 2016, the Liberals established an $800-million fund for Innovation Clusters. All of the money is to be given solely to Super Clusters, which means that places like the Creative Space in Barrie will not get a cent.
Consumers aren’t benefiting, either. There will be excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, going up by 2% immediately (and subsequently will be indexed to inflation) and ride-sharing services, such as Uber, will now have to charge GST on their sales.
Overall, this budget is lacking any changes that will make a real impact on the lives of everyday Canadians.
It is disappointing to see that the Liberal economic plan just isn’t working.
As always, Conservatives will continue to be the voice of the taxpayer. We will hold Justin Trudeau to account and we won’t stay silent as he leaves ordinary Canadians behind.