MP critical of federal budget

Budget doesn't deliver results for rural B.C., says Atamanenko

  • Mar. 21, 2013 6:00 a.m.

Ottawa, ON – Alex Atamanenko, MP says that with the exception of a small business tax credit the Conservative budget falls short of delivering results for people here in rural B.C.

“The government promised to focus on jobs but has not introduced any new measures to create meaningful employment.  It is good that skills training is seen as an important step to get more people into the workforce.  However, there is no real new money,” stated Atamanenko.

Currently the federal government provides provinces with $500 million to promote training.  Now, the federal government will be taking $300 million of this money and putting it into a Canada Jobs Grant by 2014-15.  According to the NDP MP, this could prove to be problematic.

“Some years ago, this government devolved job training to the provinces.  Now, without consultation, it is taking back part of the training money for the Canada Job Grant program.  This could cause some confusion as to who is responsible for what,” outlined the MP.

“My constituents are telling me they’re looking for investments in front line public services, a job creation strategy, a better transit system, improved home care for seniors and a national housing strategy, to name a few,” said Atamanenko. “Instead the government is ploughing ahead with cuts to pensions, healthcare and EI ignoring the serious threats facing our economy.”

Atamanenko is denouncing another $36 billion reduction in healthcare transfers that he knows will have an effect on services for all Canadians. “And, with 240,000 more young people unemployed today than before the recession the only thing this budget does for youth job creation is re-announce funding for 5,000 internships.”

“It is disappointing to see the Conservatives pushing ahead with unpopular cuts to EI that will force workers to take a 30% pay cut,” noted the BC MP. “And, while the government is taking skills training away from the provinces it is providing no new money for education and training.”

“I am pleased that the Conservatives are finally taking action to crackdown on tax havens,” stated Atamanenko.  “However, I wonder how they will be able to pursue this with cuts to Revenue Canada.”

“Economists predict that his year will be worse than last year and we need a budget that will begin to prepare us for a 21st century economy,” said Atamanenko “Austerity and reckless cuts are not what we need right now.  We need to look to the future as we work to build a green sustainable economy,” concluded the Southern Interior MP.