BURNABY CUPE BC wants the rich to pay their proper share of taxes, says a pre-provincial budget brief delivered to the select standing committee on finance and government services on Oct. 17, 2003.
The provinces largest union recommends that the provincial government restore tax levels for upper income earners to eliminate the disproportionate benefit they have gained from the tax cut
The union also issued a challenge to the government to realize that choices to change the mix of services we provide, and the way we pay for them, have consequences that go beyond taxation.
Unlike commercial entities, said CUPE BC president Barry ONeill borrowing the words of Australias auditor general, public service providers are required to simultaneously account for (among other things) client satisfaction, the public interest, fair play, honesty, justice, security and equity as well as striving to maximize value for money.
ONeill suggested that the committee compete with Alberta on the public interest by perhaps urging more funding for access to information and privacy. We urge you to compete with Ontario on equity by encouraging pay equity legislation. How about competing with Saskatchewan on fairness in services for seniors and children?
The CUPE brief also urges the government to:
- assist resource-dependent rural communities affected by government restructuring and the softwood lumber dispute;
- adequately fund rural education, restore special education funding and reinstate tuition fees to the 2001-2002 levels;
- review infrastructure needs for local governments, particularly in the area of water;
- reassess measures in the Community Charter encouraging public private partnerships;
- fund local governments to bring small water systems into their own water systems;
- ensure equitable access to library resources by increasing the per capita provincial grant;
- stop budget cuts and the restructuring of the ministry of children and family development.
(604) 291-1940 or 828-7668.