People struggling just to keep up need to know their government has their back, and that just isn’t happening according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP, Carol Hughes.

Hughes was commenting on NDP Leader Tom Mulcair’s  Affordability Tour which stopped in Sault Ste. Marie yesterday before moving on to Thunder Bay.   Hughes joined Mulcair at a public Town Hall session to promote New Democrat policy initiatives designed to address increased family debt, stagnant wages and the growing costs of everyday essentials.

“People in Northern Ontario know all too well that we are being gouged - at the pumps or even just for paying our bills,” said Hughes. “More and more Canadians are living paycheque-to-paycheque and family budgets are stretched to the breaking point."

Mulcair says instead of helping to make life more affordable, Stephen Harper is making things worse.  Tariffs from the last budget are hiking the price of everyday item while the government is handing nearly $20-billion in tax giveaways to large corporations.

“New Democrats have practical ideas that would make life more affordable,” said Hughes. “Banning the ‘pay-to-pay’ charges for paper bills, capping ATM fees, ensuring that gas price fixing is not happening along with the creation of a Gasoline Ombudsman, and cracking down on pay-day lenders outrageous interest charges are realistic places to begin easing the pressure on household budgets.”

Hughes says that New Democrats believe we can have a balanced approach and a long-term vision for our economy that will allow business to succeed while making life more affordable for Canadian families.  

“Canadians deserve a government that will focus on creating high-paying, good quality, middle-class jobs with decent benefits, a secure pension and enough of a salary to live on,” said Hughes.  “The Conservatives have shown they don’t understand that or the need to address affordability issues to ensure household budgets aren’t nickeled and dimed at every turn.”