Striking a Better Balance: the 2014 Alternative Federal Budget

February 5, 2014

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released today their annual Alternative Federal Budget (AFB). The budget includes many recommendations for investments related to community economic development initiatives, including: a neighbourhood revitalization program; social impact weighting and community benefit agreements as part of government purchasing and decision-making; a public policy roundtable to support the co-construction of public policy to support CED; affordable housing; the reduction of income inequality; and sound environmental stewardship.

This year’s AFB delivers a plan that would significantly reduce poverty, strengthen the economy, lower unemployment to 5.4% and still balance the budget by 2016-17 (one year later than the federal government). It also raises the bar on transparency by providing an analysis of the distributional and poverty impacts of its tax measures—a first for any budget.

Under the AFB:

  • 855,000 Canadians would be lifted from poverty. The poverty rate for seniors would drop by 46% and child poverty by 26%.
  • The bottom 60% of Canadian families will see improved incomes from the AFB’s tax measures.
  • Upper-middle class families would see tax increases of under 2% of their family income.
  • The top 5% of families would see the largest tax increases (6% of their family income) as tax loopholes used by the rich are closed.
  • All Canadians would benefit from public services such as affordable child care, expanded health care, and improved infrastructure.

Visit for the full budget document, a budget-in-brief, and infographics.