Budget 2017 Op-ed

The Liberal government’s maiden budget in 2016 was a catastrophe. Promising a “modest” deficit of only $10 billion per year, this debt quickly shot to $30 billion. Now, TD Bank says that deficit is more like $34 billion, growing to almost $50 billion over the next four years. At the time of the budget’s release, the Liberal Finance Minister said he consulted with private-sector economists for their predictions on the economy. We know now that he didn’t take their advice.

Since the release of the Liberal Government’s 2016 budget, Canada’s economy has faced some significant challenges. Many sectors of the economy – particularly the oil and gas sector – are seeing huge job losses that are having a great effect on Canadian families. And although the Liberals promised not to raise taxes on the middle class, that’s exactly what they are doing. From a new national Carbon Tax, to rolling back Tax-Free Savings Accounts, to eliminating tax credits for children’s fitness and arts activities, to cutting tax credits for student textbooks – this government insists on making life more expensive for families, not to mention making it harder for families to save.

Many Canadians spoke out in response to the Liberal government’s first budget since taking office. Back in March 2016, an editorial in the Financial Post said, “…it can only be a matter of time before the Liberals tax and spend all of us, the rich and middle-class inclusively, into equal levels of misery.” And Macleans magazine noted, “If Canadians who voted Liberal last fall expected to feel more prosperous fast, they are liable to be disappointed.” That was then, this is now.

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Back in March 2016, the Toronto Star outlined the “winners” and “losers” of the 2016 federal budget. They said, “Losers: small business. The government will not proceed with reductions in the small business tax rate promised in the last Conservative budget. They would have dropped the rate from 11 per cent to nine per cent … Instead, the rate will fall to 10.5 per cent, and future costs are being deferred. Losers: National defence. Billions in planned equipment spending is pushed off past the next election. Losers: Tax breaks. The budget undoes some of the former Conservative government’s targeted tax breaks, including tax credits for tuition and textbooks, children’s fitness and arts costs, and income-splitting for families with children.”
The Liberal Government has hinted at some new taxes that Canadians can expect in Budget 2017 – a new tax on digital streaming services like Netflix, and new taxes on health and dental plans.

Life under Justin Trudeau’s government is becoming so expensive it’s not surprising that Canada’s economy is not growing and we are losing jobs each month. As the government prepares for Budget 2017 it’s time to have your say. We can’t let this Liberal pattern of higher taxes and more spending continue. Please share your input with my office by either emailing Harold.Albrecht.A2@parl.gc.ca or writing me at Harold Albrecht MP, House of Commons (no postage required).