House of Commons

Whether it’s housing, health care, or the climate crisis, the 2024 federal budget acknowledges the problems facing working people in Canada – but the solutions offered fall far short.

“The Liberals are offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ at a time when working families in this country are drowning in sky-high housing and food costs,” said CUPE’s National President Mark Hancock. “Justin Trudeau has always overpromised and under-delivered, but somehow he still managed to come in well below our already low expectations.”

The budget’s signature offer on housing is particularly disappointing, as it is largely geared towards propping up for-profit rental housing development, with no guarantee of making housing more affordable for regular people.

“Families are facing an unprecedented affordability crisis, but the Liberals can’t seem to summon the courage or the political will to meet the moment in a meaningful way,” said CUPE’s National Secretary-Treasurer Candace Rennick. “Instead, we got a status-quo housing plan.”

Thanks to the NDP, the budget does allocate $1 billion (over 5 years) to launch a national school food program to provide meals for 400,000 children each year. An additional $1.5 billion (over 5 years) is earmarked in the budget to launch the groundwork of a national pharmacare program, and another $6.1 billion over six years has been budgeted to deliver a new Canada Disability Benefit, which is set to roll out in July 2025.

To help pay for it, Budget 2024 also takes steps towards CUPE’s recommendations for tax fairness, increasing the capital gains inclusion rate from half to two-thirds for corporations, trusts, and individual capital gains over $250,000.

Check in the coming days for more analysis on Budget 2024 and how it will impact CUPE members.