Corporate Canada’s continued portrayal of public sector compensation as excessive is a not-so-veiled attempt to create a scapegoat for growing government deficits. It’s their hope that these disingenuous arguments will divert the attention of Canadian voters away from the reckless and irresponsible corporate tax cuts being pushed by their closest ally, the Harper Conservatives.
Common sense clearly shows public sector workers are not the real problem. The average salary of Canadian Union of Public Employee members working in the public sector is $40,000 per year. The typical public sector worker pension – for someone who has worked for 30 years – is $18,000 per year. In an August 2010 Environics poll, 80 percent of Canadians said public sector pensions were appropriate or too low.
It’s a stretch for even the most vivid imagination to call this excessive.
In the meantime, over the last 15 years the salaries of Canada’s 100 best paid CEO’s has risen 199 percent. And these corporations are now getting even more tax breaks.
The jobs and investments the Harper Conservatives and past Liberal governments promised corporate tax cuts would create have not materialized. Our next federal government must start to put the needs of Canadians ahead of corporate interests, and stop trying to foist blame on the dedicated workers delivering the valued public services all Canadians depend on.