Budget Extends Agenda that Fails Working Families: Corporate tax giveaways outstrip new funding 6 to 1

OTTAWA - New Democrats in Ottawa have rejected the 2008 budget, saying they will not endorse the Harper agenda.

“A budget is where you set priorities,” said NDP leader Jack Layton. “And this Prime Minister has again placed corporate tax giveaways ahead of investing in hard-working families in Vancouver.”

“Hundreds of affordable rental housing units have been lost in Vancouver over the last year and homelessness is up 78% from 2005, but the Conservatives couldn’t find a single dollar for new social housing. Instead, they chose to fund yet more tax cuts for big corporations” said Vancouver East MP Libby Davies.

“There is no money in this budget for the high-quality, affordable childcare that Canadian families need. The Harper government’s so-called ‘childcare benefit’ from 2 years ago has made almost no difference for ordinary families, and this budget again refuses to address the problem” said Davies. “This is the continuation of an agenda that’s failing middle-class and lower income families and accelerating the growing gap in Vancouver and across British Columbia.”

The NDP noted that while the Harper agenda gives profitable corporations multi-year commitments for tax cuts, while aboriginal communities, transit initiatives and research have to get by with temporary commitments and one-offs.

Davies said the Conservative budget was disappointing and potentially dangerous to the BC economy.

“The banks and oil and gas sectors saw record operating profits in 2007 and do not need more tax breaks and giveaways. The Conservative agenda has the wrong plan for hard-working Canadians. Harper’s policies are picking winners and losers - big business wins while families lose,” said Davies. “We will not and cannot accept this agenda for our country."