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Finance Minister Ralph Goodale, has $45 billion in surpluses over the next three years, according the Alternative Federal Budget released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

The CCPA called on Goodale today to use these surpluses to invest in public services, reduce poverty and stabilize cash transfers to provinces and territories to end the political side-shows between our governments.

The CCPA has been producing Alternative Federal Budgets (AFBs) for ten years and has been the most accurate predictor of federal budget surpluses since 1997.

This years AFB, released today, also shows how the federal government holds the fiscal capacity to increase the Canada Social Transfer by $13 billion over the next three years. This means more money dedicated money to social services, housing, education and more.

Ellen Russell, senior economist at the CCPA said investing in Canadas social infrastructure is long overdue.

After sitting on eight consecutive years of surplus budgets, with another $45 billion coming down the pike, any other action by this government would be inexcusable, said Russell.

Highlights of the AFB:

  • Assures adequate funding for the Canada Social Transfer (CST) by increasing funding for the transfer by more than $13 billion over the next 3 years.

  • Builds accountability and transparency right into the budget by dividing the social transfer into separate Social Transfer and Post-Secondary Education funds and having a separate envelope for each social item within the Canada Social Transfer.

  • Attacks poverty in Canada by increasing the Canada Child Tax Benefit, the GST credit, creating a national child care program, enhancing the EI program, creating affordable housing, increasing OAS and GIS benefits and providing significant funds to address the needs of Aboriginal communities.

The CCPAs Russell argues that the AFB would achieve these goals while meeting the governments Debt/GDP targets, without increasing overall revenues, and by providing a significant boost to the economy.

Goodales federal budget will be introduced into the House of Commons this coming Wednesday, February 23.

Alternative Federal Budget 2005: Its Time is available from the CCPA web site at http://www.policyalternatives.ca. The AFB, coordinated by the CCPA, incorporates the priorities of a wide range of prominent organizations representing millions of Canadians.