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Taxpayers federation gives some tepid support to the June 6 federal budget

OTTAWA - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) reacted with only tepid support towards Monday’s budget, commending the federal government for its plan to balance the budget, move to eliminate political welfare and for making the gas tax transfer permanent.

Speaking from Parliament Hill, federation national research director Derek Fildebrandt said, “Following our National Debt Clock Tour, Prime [Stephen] Minister Harper made a pledge to balance the budget by 2014. It can and should be balanced sooner, but we are nonetheless pleased to see a modest move in the right direction found in this budget.”

Before the budget is balanced, $158.9-billion in new debt will be accumulated since 2008, a sum greater than the debt accumulated during both World Wars combined, even after adjusting for inflation.

Fildebrandt added, “These savings are incredibly modest in their size and scope and we need to go much further if we are to make up for the overspending of the last decade. The CTF will be bringing a long list of areas to save to Treasury Board president Tony Clement.”

The CTF found other areas of the budget worthy of support.

“Eliminating the per-vote subsidy is a major victory in the fight against political welfare. While parties still enjoy many unjustified financial perks, this is major win for taxpayers and for democratic reform,” said Fildebrandt.

“Making the gas tax transfer permanent is a clear follow-through on a longstanding CTF priority. This will ensure that more gas tax revenues goes back into roads, but gas taxes themselves are still too high and lack transparency. Coming on the heels of the CTF’s Gas Tax Honesty Day, this was a missed opportunity for the government to provide relief by eliminating the GST-HST tax-on-tax,” added Fildebrandt.

Concluding, he stated, “This budget is an overall improvement over its predecessor before the election, but that is starting from a pretty low point. We need to be significantly more aggressive in getting spending under control to roll back the damage caused by overspending over the last decade.”


June 10, 2011


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