Federal Budget a Dodgy Shell Game

Federal Budget a Dodgy Shell Game

As published in the Cape Breton Post: April 26, 2015 and the Hill Times: May 4, 2015

Please take the time to really examine the details of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cynical approach to balancing the federal budget; a dodgy shell game at the best of times.

While the Conservatives depend mainly on their diehard base, they are also attempting to mislead undecided voters by underplaying the use of excessive EI contribution rates to fund their pre-election tax cuts.

According to the parliamentary budget officer, EI premiums are frozen at $1.88 per $100 until 2017, a rate far higher than necessary to fund and operate the EI program.

We’ve seen this game before, under the Chretien Liberals; who scooped the EI surplus to eliminate the federal deficit and later presented themselves as bold fiscal warriors making the "tough" choices.

Part of the “EI employment tax” will fund further tax cuts for Canadian corporations that received previous reductions by combining a blend of research, development and hiring promises with threats of foreign outsourcing and capital flight.

Instead of hiring and investing, corporate Canada is sitting on a mountain of cash, yet still demanding further tax cuts.

Please don’t be fooled by Harper’s budgetary sleight of hand. Surpluses are manufactured as required, and EI premiums are a tax by any other name.