Lackluster Budget No Match for Canada's Real Problems: Hughes

Ottawa – Canadians looking for vision from the federal government on issues like unemployment or crumbling infrastructure will be disappointed with the Thursday’s budget says Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

“This budget was full of general ideas without much in the way of specific measures,” said Hughes. “It looks like we will have to wait for the implementation bills to find out the real details.” 

Hughes says the government is shuffling money around to make old commitments seem new, but lost in the process are some mounting issues that will be left for future governments and generations.

“These problems are well documented and getting worse,” said Hughes. “We still haven’t recovered the jobs lost during the global economic crisis, but this government doesn’t seem concerned.”

Hughes says there are a few items that will be welcome in the budget, but feels the good does not outweigh the bad or the items missing.  She points to a stand-alone Minister in charge of Fednor and extending the hiring tax credit for small business as two ideas New Democrats have been promoting.

“There will always be a few good ideas in these documents,” said Hughes. “The problem is there aren’t enough and the whole budget is defined by what it doesn’t do - which is not what Canadians need right now.”

Hughes feels the plan to introduce aboriginal workfare shows this government still doesn’t know how to work with First Nations and has the potential to become incendiary, as does the language that points to a show-down with public servants over compensation packages.

“Ultimately, what we were given this week amounted to a government that is unwilling to see a role for itself in making the lives of Canadians better,” said Hughes.   “They have no plan to get back most of the good paying full-time jobs we lost in the global economic crisis or to deal with runaway youth unemployment.  This budget seems to show they don’t even think these things are problems.”