Close to 100 delegates attended the economic breakfast at CUPE BC Convention Friday morning. “The Conservatives claim Canada’s economy and job market are outperforming other major nations. If that’s true,” said CUPE National President Paul Moist, “then for whom?”
He explained to delegates that for youth, and future job creation, there is no economic recovery. Youth employment is over 2 ½ times higher than the adult unemployment rate. “That is because few new jobs are being created,” said Moist.
Both federal spending and revenue as a share of the economy have been on the decline since 1980 and both are now close to the lowest they have been since 1940.
“This is the impact of austerity and tax cuts,” he said. Corporations are not investing in the economy to create new jobs. Even though the government continues to tell us that corporate tax cuts will boost business investment and economic development, the opposite is true. As tax rates for corporations have been cut from over 40 per cent to around 25 per cent, the share of business investment in the economy has also declined.
Sixty per cent of the economy is household spending. The economy needs working people to spend money to economic development. We need workers to have decent wages for the economy to thrive.
“We have never won anything without fighting for it,” said Moist. “And we can only fight the kind of power we are up against as a united voice. Moist wrapped up the breakfast saying, “It is important to remember that we are the economy. We don’t have their money – but we do have the numbers.”