Short-sighted budget bad for people of province: McCurdy
The damage inflicted on the province by Budget 2015 will take a long time to undo, says NDP Leader Earle McCurdy.Tonight in the House of Assembly, the NDP caucus voted against the budget, saying government unfairly expects lower- and middle-income residents to bear an unfair amount of the weight of government’s bad financial decisions.
“In good times, this government was happy to give tax breaks to corporations and the people who earn most,” McCurdy said today. “And now that the money has stopped rolling in so fast, the Davis Conservatives have decided to make everyone in the province pay.
“The budget increases the sales tax charged on most purchases, raises fees for numerous government services, and eliminates the HST rebate on home heating prices, adding 10 per cent to the cost of electricity and heating fuel alone. Government is trying to convince us that an HST hike is the fairest way to increase taxes, but let’s not forget that tax reductions a few years ago went overwhelmingly to high income earners. ”
McCurdy adds the budget will be particularly hard on youth. A cut to Memorial University’s funding means increased living costs for students from outside St. John’s who live in residence, as well as higher tuition for graduate and international students.
This, coupled with reduced job opportunities for graduates because of public service attrition, flies in the face of any Youth Retention Strategy government might devise, says McCurdy.