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The affects of government budgets on inequalities


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This presentation was part of a lunch and learn hosted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives-NS and the Community Coalition to End Poverty NS entitled Where’s the Social and Economic Justice in Recent Government Budgets? Other panelists included Wayne MacNaughton from the Community Advocates Network and Sheri Lecker from Adsum for Women in Children.

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The affects of government budgets on inequalities

  1. 1. The affects of government budgets on inequalities By Christine Saulnier, Phd Nova Scotia Director Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  2. 2. The Growing Gap
  3. 3. The Rich Families and the Rest in NSSource: Kyle Buott, Judy Haiven and Larry Haiven, Labour Standards (Halifax: CCPA-NS, 2012)
  4. 4. Productive Workers not Fairly Rewarded Source: Kyle Buott, Judy Haiven and Larry Haiven, Labour Standards Reform in NS (Halifax: CCPA-NS, 2012)
  5. 5. Losing Ground: Gender Equality in NS Women in Nova Scotia: •experience a 71% pay equity gap; •earn an avg weekly wage of $200 less than male counterparts; •are the majority of workers in 8/10 of lowest paying jobs; •are the minority in the ten highest paying occupations; •constitute about 60 % of minimum wage workers; •represent fewer than 5% of active apprentices, an increase of only .5 % in 15 years. Source:
  6. 6. What to look for in the budget that would advance equality1. Funding to increase secure employment at living wages2. Funding targeted to achieve gender equality3. Funding to address the root causes of poverty and provide dignity to those living in poverty4. Adequate revenue to provide quality services
  7. 7. Nova Scotia Budget Highlights3% cut to Post Secondary: -$10 m1.5% cut to School Boards:-$17 mLow income assistance: $8.3 mPersonal tax credit inc: $7.5 mEnergy Rebate: $102 mSmall business tax cut: $10 mLarge Corp Tax: 16.3 m ($92 m)Total Dept increase: $338 m 3.1%Total cut over 4 years: $772 m
  8. 8. Federal Budget HighlightsCut Departmental Spending -$1.8 billion this year, $3.5 billion next year,and to over $5 billion per year from 2014-15.19,000 jobs up to 50,000 include crown corps agencies and private sectorincrease in the age of eligibility for OAS and GIS from age 65 to 67,“strengthen and clarify what is required of (regular EI) claimants”6% cut in fed housing programsNational Council on Welfare eliminated ($1.1 m)Community Access Program funding eliminatedCanadian Revenue Agency will crackdown on registered charities whoengage in political activities ($8 mil).working income tax benefit (no increase in past 3 years)corporate tax down to 15% (from 16.5)
  9. 9. Public Sector Cuts Hurt Women More•Women in NS compose 67% and 85% ofeducation and health employment, respectively;and 63% of all public sector jobs. These publicsector jobs: • represent quality jobs, where pay is on average higher than private sector jobs, with smaller pay equity gaps; • are unionized and provide good benefits to women often including extended health and maternity benefits. In addition, more women in the public sector have pensions (2/3 v 1/3 in the private sector)
  10. 10. TAXES: NO LONGER PROGRESSIVE? From Marc Lee, Eroding Tax Fairness ,
  11. 11. Toby Sanger, CUPE; Sources: Informetrica Ltd, Centre for Spatial Economics, Finance Canada Budget 2009 (p. 240)
  12. 12. Alternative Federal Budget: THIS OR THAT?
  13. 13. THIS OR THAT?
  14. 14. CECI ou CELA?
  15. 15. Budget Choices Comparison NS Government Budget CCPA NS Alt Budget3% cut to Post Secondary: -$10 m Early Learning and Child Care:$45 m1.5% cut to School Boards:-$17 m Cut NSCC Tuition in Half: $16 mLow income assistance: $8.3 m Increase income assistance: $120 mPersonal tax credit inc: $7.5 m Total new revenue: $327.80 mEnergy Rebate: $102 m Reallocate: $142 mSmall business tax cut: $10 m Total new spending: $492.5 millionLarge Corp Tax: 16.3 m ($92 m) Plus Increase in Dept spending to cover inflation: $166 mTotal Dept increase: $338 m 3.1%Total cut over 4 years: $772 m
  16. 16. Promoting equality is in everyones best interest
  17. 17. WHERE TO FROM HERE?"a more long-term process that requiresgovernment officials to think about theeconomy in new ways that include theunpaid sector where much of women’stime and efforts are concentrated.“IsabellaBakker, Gender Budget Initiatives and Why They Matter inCanada (Ottawa: CCPA, 2006).“Greater equality is the gateway to asociety capable of improving the qualityof life for all of us and an essential stepin the development of a sustainableeconomic system.” Richard Wilkinson and KatePickett, The Spirit Level see
  18. 18. Greater equality is in everyones best interest Thank You. Join or Donate: Get Connected: alternatives-ns Email: ccpans@policyalternatives to receive our e-newsletter