PARLIAMENT NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO WORK TO MAKE BETTER LEGISLATION: HUGHES

BUDGET DEBATE CUT SHORT ON FLAWED BILL DESPITE MANY REPAIRABLE PROBLEMS

Ottawa – Parliament is supposed to be a forum with an exchange of ideas, but it has turned into a rubber stamp process for the Prime Minister’s Office under this Conservative government’s reign, Carol Hughes told the Commons during her speech on the Budget Implementation Act on Monday.   

The Budget Implementation  Act is the latest bill  to add weight to the claim.  The large piece of omnibus legislation had its debate limited by Time Allocation – which cuts short the time the bill can be debated – last week.

“This parliament is barely getting going and we have seen the government use this heavy-handed measure on every major piece of legislation.   Six times so far,” said Hughes.  “They have gone so far as to use time allocation on a bill before an opposition member has even spoken to it. “

The budget, because of its catch-all nature is massive in both scope and size of document and warrants close inspection according to New Democrats.  It contains many measures that will be of assistance to better-off Canadians, but has no measures to extend these measures to low-income or impoverished Canadians. 

Credits for home-care-givers and cultural activity should not be aimed only at people who pay taxes.  Yet the budget creates a divide in who will be rewarded in Canadian society, while the need for home care-givers or the desire to participate in things like music lessons are not discriminatory.

“For tax credits like those available for cultural activity or home caregivers, the fact that they are not fully refundable means that only Canadians who pay enough taxes can take advantage of them,’ Said Hughes. “In that respect, they are incomplete incentives and that is a shame.”

The budget is being promoted by the government as a low-tax agenda, a description that Hughes took issue with, pointing out the Conservatives are merely hiding their taxes.

“It is the Conservatives raising taxes on everyday Canadians, said Hughes.  “(They do this through items) like the recent increase to Employment Insurance deductions for employers and employees or the HST which is gouging household budgets in the North.”

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