February 27th, 2018

Budget 2018: the Liberals are not targeting inequality

Quebeckers who were calling on the federal government to crack down on tax havens and tax loopholes that only benefit the wealthy have every reason to be upset. Once again, despite the consensus in Québec, the Liberals lacked courage in demanding that web giants like Netflix pay fair share.

“The Liberals are proving, yet again, that they say one thing, but do the exact opposite,” said the NDP Quebec Lieutenant Alexandre Boulerice. “They claim to be working for everyday Canadians, but instead they always choose to protect the interests of their wealthy Liberal friends. By tackling tax havens, the government could have gone after extra revenue to help those in need. Unfortunately, that did not happen.”

Contrary to what the Liberals want us to believe, a budget that does not address the preferential treatment given to large companies and to the wealthy cannot be considered a budget that is addressing inequality. In tackling this preferential tax treatment, the Liberal government could have recovered billions of dollars. This money could have been used to improve public services and infrastructure across the province, but the Liberals decided to instead ignore Quebec’s needs.

“Quebeckers are right to be disappointed. In the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, the federal government refuses to do its part to assist the Quebec government in financing its health care system,” added NDP Deputy Finance Critic Pierre-Luc Dusseault. “Growing inequality is the most important issue we face today and, with this budget, the Liberals are choosing to continue allowing large corporations to benefit at the expense of families, seniors, workers and Indigenous children.”

In addition to disappointing Quebec on tax havens, the Liberals are once again breaking their promise to resolve the Employment Insurance program’s seasonal gap problem. Thousands of seasonal workers and people with serious illnesses will continue to be without income for several weeks. Finally, there is nothing new in the budget for infrastructure, meaning Quebeckers will have to continue to wait impatiently during their commute.