WINNIPEG - The Pallister government’s latest budget fails to address key issues facing Manitoba, with no plan for economic growth, said Manitoba Liberal leader, Dougald Lamont.
In fact, Budget 2018 continues this government’s trend of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
“This year alone we are seeing $434-million in new money from the Federal Government that is supposed to be invested in healthcare, social services and education,” said Manitoba Liberal leader, Dougald Lamont.
Pallister is using federal funds to finance a tax cut for himself and those of the richest Manitobans.
The basic personal exemption has been touted for providing income tax relief for low-income Manitobans, but has been a failure, said Lamont, because it benefits high-income earners more than anyone else.
Lamont said the new costs being forced onto Manitobans by the Pallister government will dwarf the minimal tax savings for the majority. The Pallister Carbon tax will be paid almost entirely by individuals and small businesses since agriculture, and big business is largely exempt.
Hydro’s rate increases are essentially a hidden tax – since they are needed to make up for the $380-million Pallister and his government are taking from Hydro this year, and every year, to make the province’s books look better.
Pallister is relying heavily on Federal transfers and raiding Hydro instead of addressing real issues in the economy. While the budget documents claim that slow growth is “the new normal” the reality is that two years into their mandate, the PCs have no plan.
In addition to the other freezes and cuts, the PCs are:
- Cutting funding to Addictions Foundation of Manitoba by $3.3-million dollars in the middle of a crystal meth crisis.
- Cutting Emergency Management for Fire Prevention & Emergency Preparedness on First Nations.
- All increased funding for CFS is going to apprehension, and funding for strategic initiatives to reduce children in care has been cut.
- Funding for people on income assistance has been cut.
“This province has had its credit rating downgraded twice in two years, which is the worst performance of any Manitoba government in decades,” said Lamont. “Manitoba is being downgraded because Pallister doesn’t have a plan for growth.”