Regina: The provincial government should deal with its tight money situation by restoring fair tax rates on profitable corporations, not by cutting funding to important public programs like home care, education and early childhood development.
The government does not have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem caused by years of tax breaks, says CUPE Saskatchewan President Tom Graham.
When the NDP government introduced its package of tax breaks four years ago described as the largest in Saskatchewans history then Finance Minister Eric Cline said the tax reductions had to be sustainable. As he stated in the March 2000 budget address, they must not jeopardize valued public services such as health care and education.
Now, four years later, the provincial government is preparing to make deep budget cuts to health, education and every other government department to deal with its funding shortfall.
Graham says unions, the Saskatchewan Alternative Budget Coalition and anti-poverty groups are calling on the government to maintain public services, and cut the tax cuts to profitable corporations.
The groups are running radio and newspaper ads in Saskatoon and Regina, urging the government to look for positive alternatives to deal with the budget shortfall. The campaign budget is $35,000.
We are losing $640 million annually as a result of tax breaks in the resource sector - potash, forestry, oil and uranium, says Graham, adding the province cant afford this level of corporate generosity.
We should be using our tax dollars to support schools and cash-strapped agencies like the human rights commission and legal aid, not multinational corporations, he states.
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For more information call Tom Graham at 229-8171