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Equitable solutions for the provincial budget

2011-03-14

Equitable solutions for the provincial budget

“The provincial government should base its economic decisions on the principles of equity, economic security, sustainability and democracy”, said Michel Boudreau, speaking for the Economic Equity Working Group, at a press conference held this Monday, March 14.
According to the Economic Equity Working Group, this means reversing the income and corporate tax cuts introduced in 2009, investing in people for high economic and social returns, and increasing social assistance rates to the Atlantic average.
“The 2009-12 tax reduction plan is unfair. It reduces equity in two major ways,” says JohannePerron, also spokesperson for the Working group.
“First, the income tax reductions benefit the highest earners, not those who need it the most. Second, once fully implemented, the tax reduction plan will cost the government $380.2 million in yearly revenue which compromises its ability to provide social services in the long term,” adds JohannePerron.
The Economic Equity Working Group urges the government to invest in people, instead of cutting income and corporate taxes.
“The government willget the highest economic returns by investing in people, not by cutting taxes”, says Michel Boudreau. “Evidence shows that investments made in child care services, health care, social services, education, and publicly owned and operated infrastructure give the highest economic returns, measured both in terms of increases to GDP and jobs creation.”
“Investments in people also contribute to citizen’s economic security and to equity between women and men and between people from different income levels,” says JohannePerron.
On the other hand, the Working Group has found little evidence that personal income tax reductions to the wealthiest will attract workers or that corporate tax reductions will lead to investments in machinery or equipment, which are productivity-inducing.
The Economic Equity Working Group has sent its recommendations to the Finance minister. Its brief can be consulted at http://www.equite-equity.com/userfiles/file/Budget%2011-12%20EN.pdf.

Recommendations
 
Based on its analysis of the fiscal situation in New Brunswick, the Economic Equity Working Group recommends the following:
 
1.      Reverse the recent tax cuts introduced in the Plan for Lower Taxes in New Brunswick, 2009-2012.
2.      Increase social assistance rates to the Atlantic average.
3.      Invest in people for high economic and social returns:
a.      Maintain an adequate level of public services.
b.      Implement a publicly funded non-profit child care system
c.      Give pay equity adjustments to workers in home support agencies, child care, community residences, transition houses and special care homes.
d.      Improve home and community based services to allow our aging population to live an active life longer.
4.      Maintain an adequate level of investment in publicly owned and operated infrastructure.

 
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The New Brunswick Economic Equity Working Group represents a number of citizens, organizations and unions concerned about the province’s future directions to solve the fiscal imbalance and debt. Last November, the Working Group organized the public forum ‘It’s Our Economy Too!’ in order to evaluate the state of NB’s economy and to look at different options as the province moves forward. It also co-organized, with the NB Advisory Council on the Status of Women, two conferences by the authors of the recent report ‘The Fiscal and Economic Implications of Tax Reform in New Brunswick’. The New Brunswick Economic Equity Working Group is composed of:
·         Association acadienne et francophone des ainées et ainés du NB
·         Canadian Labour Congress, Atlantic region
·         Canadian Union of Public Employees - NB Division
·         Fredericton Anti-Poverty Group
·         New Brunswick Child Care Coalition
·         New Brunswick Common Front for Social Justice Inc.
·         New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity
·         New Brunswick Federation of Labour
·         New Brunswick Nurses’ Union
·         New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees
·         Regroupementféministe du Nouveau-Brunswick
                 
For information, contact:
Michel Boudreau, 857-2125 (b); 381-8969 (c)
JohannePerron, 855-0002 (b); 850-6963 (c)

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