This will be a pivotal year for the future of working families and labour rights in Canada, with a federal election to be called within a year.
The next federal budget will be a big part of that, as it is likely to lay out the Harper government’s priorities for the election and future years. And for the first time since 2007 the federal government will have a surplus, projected to be close to $10 billion next year and above that in future years.
Despite these coming surpluses, they are still planning to reduce spending on health care and slash another 9,000 jobs, in part to provide additional revenue for election tax cuts like income splitting and tax-free savings accounts that predominantly benefit top incomes. We can also expect further reductions in labour rights and efforts to keep wages down if they gain another majority.
That’s why this federal budget—and the election that follows—will be so critical.
CUPE has outlined what we think the next federal budget should include. We’ll be urging the federal government and politicians to:
- Create more and better quality jobs, including through public investment in affordable housing, public transit, and renewable energy.
- Support wage and income growth through improvements to the EI program, reforms of the temporary foreign workers program, and more.
- Ensure decent retirement incomes for all Canadians by expanding the Canada Pension Plan and restoring the age of eligibility for OAS/GIS.
- Support working families by establishing a quality public child care program.
- Improve and expand our public health care system.
- Increase tax fairness by restoring corporate tax rates to 22 per cent, closing regressive tax loopholes, restoring the top rate on high incomes to 35 per cent, and more.
Encourage your MP to support measures that will help working families.