Budget 2015 must give middle class families a break

VANCOUVER—New Democrats are demanding that the Conservatives use the upcoming budget to change direction and start building an economy that works for Canadians.

"We have just experienced a decade of Conservative budgets causing damage to our country," writes NDP Finance critic Nathan Cullen in his letter to finance minister Joe Oliver. "Middle class families are working harder than ever, yet falling further behind. Family incomes are stagnant while household debt skyrockets. Young families struggle to pay for childcare while seniors can't access the care they need."

"Stephen Harper's solution is to take billions from the middle class and give it to the wealthiest 15%. This is wrong."

In the letter, New Democrats ask for Budget 2015 to include practical measures that:

  • Make life more affordable by scrapping the Conservatives wasteful income splitting scheme and implementing Tom Mulcair's plan to reduce childcare costs to no more than $15 a day.
  • Protect and create good jobs by giving a break to small businesses that create jobs and taking urgent action to address Canada's youth unemployment crisis.
  • Defend public health care by reversing Stephen Harper's reckless plan to cut $36 billion from health care budgets and instead work with provinces on reducing wait times.
  • Ensure a Canada where no one is left behind, including allowing people to retire in dignity by lowering the OAS age of retirement back to 65.
  • Build our economy while protecting the environment by working with companies to create sustainable, clean jobs and ensure polluters pay the cost of their environmental mess.

"It's time for the minister of finance to stop panicking and get to work on a budget that makes the economy work for Canadians, not another Conservative budget focused on helping the privileged few," said Cullen.