Doing Better Together: The 2013 Alternative Federal Budget

March 12, 2013

Community investment, not austerity, the key to economic growth

Austerity measures are not the way to kickstart an already stagnant economy, warns the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. 
With the release of its annual Alternative Federal Budget (AFB), the CCPA shows how austerity can be replaced by a plan that strengthens the economy, leads to a better quality of life for all Canadians, and eliminates the deficit by 2016. The Alternative Federal Budget shows what the federal government could do if it decided to seriously tackle Canadians’ largest social, economic, and environmental concerns.
“Instead of budgeting with eyes wide shut, the AFB responds to the issues that most Canadians struggle with every day. It invests in programs that are good for growth and good for Canadians, while balancing the books,” said CCPA Senior Economist Armine Yalnizyan in a press release published earlier this week.
Rather than focussing on misguided defecit cutting, the CCPA argues for investment in much-needed services and programs for Canadian communities. Targeted government spending in areas such as national child care, community-based health care, and basic infrastructure repairs can help stimulate employment while building stronger local economies across the country. Proposed AFB initiatives include a Community Economic Development Policy Framework, and a Neighbourhood Revitalization Fund.  According to the CCPA, the AFB Plan would generate 200,000-300,000 full time jobs.

The AFB Plan:

  • Reduces poverty and inequality by investing in child care, pharmacare, affordable housing, income supports, and post-secondary education,
  • Tackles the ongoing crisis for First Nations housing, drinking water, education,
  • Implements a long term, transparent and public plan for investments in infrastructure,
  • Creates 300,000 jobs, lowering the unemployment rate to 6% by 2014, and
  • Introduces a new top personal income tax bracket, closes the biggest tax loopholes, and introduces a withholding tax on tax havens.