Paul Moist has told federal finance minister Jim Flaherty that in the coming federal budget “we need a change in direction: one that uses federal leadership and public investments to lay the foundation for a more balanced, prosperous, democratic and sustainable economic future for all Canadians.”
In a letter to the Finance Minister, Moist outlined CUPE’s priorities for the federal budget, based on the three main strategic priorities agreed upon by delegates at the national convention in October:
- Strengthening public services and fighting back against privatization
- Achieving equality and increasing bargaining power
- Meeting our global green targets and increasing international solidarity
For the federal budget, this means:
- creating a national public/non-profit child care and early learning program;
- long-term plan and adequate funding to eliminate the municipal infrastructure deficit;
- stop pushing privatization on provinces and local governments;
- measures to strengthen public health care;
- increase transfers for post-secondary education;
- provide public schools a full rebate on the GST they pay;
- active national role in training, skills development, literacy and labour market development;
- improve benefits and access to employment insurance;
- adequate funding for First Nations and aboriginal health, housing, water, education, and economic opportunity programs;
- sectoral development policies to help the hard hit manufacturing and forestry industries;
- Real leadership on climate change;
- A national strategy to reduce poverty, inequality and insecurity;
The Finance Minister claims that he has no money left to do anything substantial in this budget. But revenues to fund these measures could be raised by closing tax loopholes, reversing corporate tax cuts, raising high income tax rates, full taxation and indexation of capital gains, carbon revenues, and the transfer of one cent from the GST to municipalities, says Moist.
“These measures are not only affordable: they are also necessary. Recent developments in the United States have shown the economic damage that results from economic policies of deregulation, bad trade deals, privatization and expensive tax cuts,” wrote Moist.
This letter builds on the pre-budget submission CUPE sent to the House of Commons Finance Committee last Fall.
A copy of Moist’s letter to Flaherty can be seen below.