Budget priorities favour jets over jobs and seniors, says Victoria MP

  • Jun. 8, 2011 12:00 p.m.

Despite assurances from the Conservative government that its priorities include fiscal restraint, its budget, which passed Monday, will treat Canadians unfairly, says Victoria MP Denise Savoie.

Plans to curtail growth in the Department of National Defence – which eats up the bulk of taxpayer dollars – is worrisome because they are vague, she said from Ottawa on Tuesday.

“It talks about restrained growth with no real specifics,” Savoie said, adding that the government’s plan to procure 65 new F-35 fighter jets at an estimated cost of $9 billion “doesn’t fit with this ‘restraint’ mentioned in the budget.”

“I remain concerned about cuts to civilian personnel,” Savoie said, citing possible plans to eliminate more than 2,000 civilian jobs at Canadian military bases through attrition over the next three years.

There are about 2,000 civilians employed at CFB Esquimalt.

Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison said Wednesday he planned to pin the Tories down on defence job cuts in the House of Commons.

Corporate tax cuts will do little to address the concerns of ordinary families, he said, adding that these breaks “will take away revenue (the government) needs to fund proper operations at CFB Esquimalt.

Savoie is also worried that although an extra $300 million will be added to the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors in this budget, it won’t be enough.

“Basically, they’re refusing to lift all the seniors out of poverty … which I think is unfortunate,” Savoie said.

“All they’re offering to Canada’s seniors in this budget is $50 (extra) a month, and $30 (extra) a month for family caregivers.”

The budget favoured corporations with millions of dollars in tax cuts to stimulate job creation to jump-start the economy, she said.

“I think out of that there should have been room to lift the quarter million Canadians out of poverty,” Savoie said.

 

emccracken@vicnews.com

 

 

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