The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Stephen Harper must abandon obsession with austerity in budget: Liberals

  • Print

OTTAWA - Deputy Liberal leader Ralph Goodale is urging the federal Conservatives to abandon what he calls their obsession with austerity in Tuesday's budget.

The former finance minister says it's the wrong policy when households are carrying record levels of debt, the country is running a chronic trade deficit and businesses aren't boosting their investments.

Goodale says the government should allot more money for infrastructure and access to post-secondary education, while eliminating tariffs on consumer goods and reducing the burden of higher employment insurance payroll taxes.

He says the Tories should also stop spending millions of taxpayer dollars on advertising unless there's some accountability on how that money is spent.

Goodale says he doesn't know whether the Tories should delay their self-imposed deadline of 2015 to balance the books because he doesn't have access to all the financial information they do.

But he says he's skeptical of the Conservative math because they're planning to balance the books, in part, by simply not spending the money they've promised in the budget.

"On one page of the budget plan, you announce big spending in things like infrastructure or national defence, for example," he said.

A few pages later, however, the government says it won't be spending that money after all.

"That's a great hocus-pocus sleight of hand that really raises serious doubts about the government's arithmetic."

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty insists he won't balance the books on the backs of the provinces, but that's not the case, said Liberal MP John McCallum.

Ontario has already complained that its equalization payments are being cut and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is trying to claw back money Ottawa gives the provinces for a contentious new federal jobs training scheme that's yet to be created.

"I do think he's showing signs of riding roughshod over the provinces in his efforts to balance the federal books as quickly as possible," McCallum said.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

RMTC preview of Good People

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS 070619 LIGHTNING ILLUMINATES AN ABANDONED GRAIN ELEVATOR IN THE VILLAGE OF SANFORD ABOUT 10PM TUESDAY NIGHT AS A LINE OF THUNDERSTORMS PASSED NEAR WINNIPEG JUST TO THE NORTH OF THIS  SITE.
  • An American White Pelican takes flight from the banks of the Red River in Lockport, MB. A group of pelicans is referred to as a ‘pod’ and the American White Pelican is the only pelican species to have a horn on its bill. May 16, 2012. SARAH O. SWENSON / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Have you fallen victim to misleading cable, Internet or cellphone promotions?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google