Why the New Liberal Budget is Controversial for Many Canadians

Location: 
Canada
56° 7' 49.3176" N, 106° 20' 48.3756" W
CA

On February 27th, the Canadian Liberal government announced their 2018 federal budget and instantly many citizens took to the internet to announce a wide range of opinions on the document. The actual success or failure of this budget may still be unknown, but what we know for sure is that there are a multitude of opinions about the projected impact of the budget on the lives of Canadians.

One important facet of the 2018 budget is the allocation of greater funds to directly benefit groups such as women and the Indigenous population. According to a Huffington Post article on the topic, the 2018 proposal is the first in Canadian history to complete a gender-based analysis to ensure progress towards equality on issues such as equal pay (HuffPost, 2018). Funds put directly towards equal pay compensation are also promised, but time will only tell whether this will even come close to solving the wage-gap issue our country currently faces. As for Indigenous funding, a promise of $2.6 billion over the next five years is to go towards First Nations educational initiatives (CBC, 2018), as well as a significant amount of money being put towards other First Nations community issues that are currently being dealt with, such as wastewater infrastructure and water testing services.

While no one can argue that these promises are fully necessary and justifiable, some Canadians are questioning other areas of the federal budget announcement. First, most business owners are dismayed at the tax plan that offers no incentives (write-offs, tax cuts, etc.) for small business start-ups. Not only are tax breaks being limited, but lower tax rates for small businesses will now also be harder to obtain. Another issue that poses the promise of an unstable future economy is the failure to balance the budget by the initial goal of 2019. The Globe and Mail sums up why this is making many people unhappy with the proposal, stating “Justin Trudeau is failing to balance the budget by 2019 as he promised, ensuring that future generations of Canadians will have more and more debt to pay back” (The Globe and Mail, 2018). Finally, it is questionable whether women will truly be benefiting as much as the budget claims: there are no additional funds being allocated to child care. While the government claims they dealt with this issue in the previous budget, it raises the question of how more job opportunities for women will benefit all women (former stay-at-home mothers, single mothers, etc.) if the child care provisions are not also increased.

With any new budget announcement there will be some backlash; certain groups will be pleased and others will be disappointed at fewer personally-beneficial funds than they hoped for. As for the recent announcement of the new government budget, only time will tell if the decisions made by the Canadian government are beneficial for a majority of citizens.

 

References

Harris, Kathleen. “Budget 2018: Liberals spend billions to close gaps for working women, Indigenous families.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 27 Feb. 2018, www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-budget-2018-main-1.4552933.

Maloney, Ryan. “Liberals' Big-Spending Budget Details $18.1B Deficit.” HuffPost Canada, HuffPost Canada, 28 Feb. 2018, www.huffingtonpost.ca/2018/02/27/federal-budget-2018-trudeau-liberals-spending-plan-projects-18-1b-deficit_a_23372489/.

“Liberals spend extra cash on scientific research, job programs for women.” The Globe and Mail, 28 Feb. 2018, www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/federal-budget-2018-liberals-table....