Halifax – The president of CUPE Nova Scotia says working families in Nova Scotia are net losers in the latest budget from the Harper government.
Danny Cavanagh says, “On top of the much publicized betrayal on equalization payments, none of the funding earmarked for the provinces is actually required to go to social programs, education, or public spending programs at all, even though this is what a majority of Canadians want.
“Only the Canada Health Transfer has conditions attached to it, and these are rarely enforced. In a nutshell, the federal government is washing its hands of accountability for social programs, except through the tax system,” says Cavanagh.
“What’s more,” says Cavanagh, “the additional funding for many of the transfers is actually a cut compared to what the federal government historically provided to provinces.
“Federal cash transfers to provinces for post-secondary education, for instance, should be at least $4.25 billion this year to restore funding to 1992/3 levels in real per person terms. Instead, federal transfers are only up to $3.2 billion,” he says.
“Funding to provinces for child care has increased by $250 million, but let’s not forget this is a cut from the $1.2 billion that was promised in 2005 for a national early learning and child care program,” says Cavanagh. “This is not going to help Nova Scotia build the kind of universal, public child care system that working families need.
“Underneath the pretty packaging, the budget reinforces the Conservatives’ stealth agenda to weaken national social programs and diminish the role of public services in Canada,” says Cavanagh.
For information: Danny Cavanagh, President, CUPE Nova Scotia - (902) 957-0822 (Cell); John McCracken, CUPE Communications Representative - (902) 455-4180 (o)