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CUPE urges Commons finance committee to help families recover from tough times

OTTAWA – The federal government’s next budget should make helping families struggling with unemployment, record debt and stagnant wages its top priority.

Presenting to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance pre-budget consultations, CUPE senior economist Toby Sanger warned that an austerity budget would be misguided because the economy is weaker than expected and cuts to stimulus programs would hurt, not help our economy.

We still have 1.5 million Canadians out of work,” said Sanger. “It’s not time to turn off the taps. It’s time to make sure we continue to invest in public infrastructure, create jobs and support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

CUPE is calling for a balanced approach, with strategic investments in employment insurance, increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement and extending infrastructure stimulus deadlines. Sanger said changes to the tax system to make it more equitable would generate revenue to pay for these key investments. He also took aim at the government’s decision to continue cuts to corporate taxes for profitable corporations.

We’re urging the government to cancel further corporate tax cuts and use that money to protect vital public services instead,” Sanger said. “A national clean water fund is a good example of how the money could be used to safeguard water services in our communities. It’s a question of priorities.”

Other key budget measures proposed by CUPE include:

  • Supporting green job creation
  • Protecting transfers payments to the provinces for programs like health and education
  • Cancelling the $16 billion sole source jet contract and restoring funding for poverty and environment programs

For more information contact:

Heather Fraser
CUPE National Communications