Letters to the editor
Harper grossly overspent
Oct 2, 2013 / 5:04 pm
Before the 2008 recession, Steven Harper grossly overspent by three times the rate of inflation.
He threw prudence to the wind, squandered 10 years of surpluses, balanced budgets and put the country back into deficit again before a recession even existed.
Harper has the poorest economic growth record since R.B. Bennett, and he’s the author of $169 billion in new Conservative debt. The latest Bank of Canada statement just confirmed that Canada’s economic growth remains sluggish and uncertain. Harper’s growth record is, in fact, the worst since the 1930s.
Statistics Canada is reporting 248,000 more Canadians are without jobs today than before the recession.
Harper claims that he doesn’t increase taxes, but that’s obviously not true. EI premiums are payroll taxes, paid by every employer and employee. When these taxes escalate year-after-year, small business groups and chambers of commerce call them “job killers,” because they make it more expensive-per-job to expand employment. Finally, with pressure from the middle class, Harper has announced he will freeze EI premiums in January. After squeezing Canadian employees and business for nearly $3.9 billion, he has decided to freeze EI payments starting next year.
In this last budget alone, they imposed $75-million per year in new taxes on Credit Unions, $550 million per year in new taxes on small-business owners, and $333 million per year in new tariff-taxes on consumers. Taxes are going up and our economic outlook still appears weak. The International Monetary Fund's 2013 forecast put Canada’s gross combined government debt at 87 per cent of GDP, or 13th highest among the 30 most advanced economies in the world.
Over the past year, more than anyone else, federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has focused relentlessly on the economic pressures squeezing the middle class. So much so, he made it the centrepiece of his leadership campaign beginning in October of 2012.
In response, the Conservatives immediately demanded briefings from the Finance department. That research confirmed Justin’s point. Trudeau has emerged as the leading advocate for middle-class Canada.
So when Steven Harper stands up and touts the strengths of our economy, we shouldn't stand back and take what he says to be true. Facts rarely factor into politics.
President, Liberal Party of Canada in Kelowna-Lake Country
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