So 2014’s budget will bring about yet another deficit for Canada, but this year’s money figures being outlined leave more questions unanswered.
That’s according to Nanaimo-Cowichan NDP Member of Parliament Jean Crowder who has highlighted what, in her eyes, is a “lack of detail in Finance Minister Jim Flaherty’s budget speech.
“The budget is short on detail, however there will be more details to come in forthcoming months” said Crowder. “Even though the money rolls out in 2014/15, in many places a lot of the government’s programs won’t come into place until 2015/16.”
Yet despite the portrayed vagueness, Crowder says there are some positive things to look forward to for our constituency.
“The money going into disaster mitigation is something to pay attention too. They’re putting $200 million into that over the next five years, starting on April 1, 2015, and that’s important for us as we’ve had disasters here.
‘There’s also going to be a 15 per cent non-refundable tax credit for search and rescue workers that have put in 200 hours of volunteer work. So at the end of the 2014 tax year, in the spring of 2015, that will become available to those workers, so that’s a good thing and something we’ve been pushing for.”
Crowder said the government also indicated there would be more money available for municipal infrastructure, but again there’s “not enough details and no criteria,” with regards to that.
Despite a $2.9 billion deficit this year, 2015’s budget year is supposed to instigate a $6.4 billion surplus, according to Flaherty and co.
“Somebody said in the House of Commons this is the ninth deficit budget in a row, but we’re in a very fragile economic recovery right now. We also won’t be seeing the investment in job creation that people would’ve hoped for,” said Crowder.”The government have said they will consider selling off crown assets, but that’s not always a good decision as it depends on what you’re selling. If what you’re selling is being used to pay down the deficit then the people never have access to that.”
Crowder concluded by saying the reason for the lack of detail may be down to a pending election next year with the government not wanting to “put all their cards on the table.”
“A lot of further announcement will be made closer to the election,” she said.
Other significant pointers from the budget speech mean no major tax cuts, the creation of a DNA-based missing persons index and over $300 million over five years being plunged into expanding rural high-speed internet.