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It’s not only pre-Christmas season; it’s also pre-budget season. Already finance ministers are sharpening their knives to cut public spending and services.  The December 2010 issue of CUPE’s Economic Climate for Bargaining outlines why austerity measures will make the economy worse, not better.   Public spending plays an essential role in generating stronger and more stable economic growth.  To tackle deficits, governments should focus instead on increasing revenues through economic growth and fairer taxes: just a few of these could net the federal government over $20 billion a year.  The report also summarizes recent developments for the economy, jobs market, inflation, and wage settlements.