Mar. 10th, 2010

metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
I've been soaking up the post-prorogation coverage, and I have a few thoughts on the coming days of austerity.

Spending side: So, almost all departments are frozen, with three exceptions: National Defense, who between disaster relief, aging gear and commitments in Afghanistan, probably needs the money; CSIS, which seems to generate regular scandals, fight with the RCMP a lot, won't let us know how dangerous Tommy Douglas was to national security, and probably isn't more special than all the other departments; and the Senate, which was supposed to not be getting any more senators until we had new rules for Senate appointments, but in the Harper era has picked up 31 new members, one elected and five during prorogation. Elite athletes get an extra $34 million to train to distract us all, and I saw full-colour campaign ads Economic Action Plan ads, showing Canada's New Government's commitment to keeping taxpayers from paying for partisan campaigning. I'm feeling the austerity here, for sure — but not nearly as much as some climate scientists in a tiny red shack way up North. I'm sure climate science was accidentally "overlooked", just like Jason Kenney overlooked that LGBTQ people might want to know that they have more rights here than they might in many places people come here from.

Revenue side: Tax cuts for business — not a bad thing in themselves, nor are "no personal tax hikes," except that whichever side of the paycheque you sit on, we're looking at an 8.7% increase in EI premiums. This works out to a fairly small increase — $120 a year split between an employee and employer, but it increases the cost of each position, and looks kind of like a tax increase to me, especially given that the EI coffers have been known to be raided for budgetary balance in the past.

Closer to home, I'm happy that our newish Chief Statistician is telling it like it is: you can't get more labour statistics for less real dollars.


metawidget: A platypus looking pensive. (Default)
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