OTTAWA – MARCH 23, 2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Honourable Gerry Ritz, Member of Parliament for Battleford-Lloydminster, issued the following statement today following the tabling of Budget 2017:
This year’s Liberal wish book is filled with an abundance of rhetoric, but fails to include anything of real substance. There is no fiscal plan. There is no strategy to return to a balanced budget, no accounting for programs or the jobs they want to create, and no leadership to ensure Canada will be competitive in the global marketplace.
Instead of acknowledging their sacrifices and contributions, Justin Trudeau uses this budget as a club to drive every penny out of small businesses. Small businesses across Canada were hit hard in last year’s budget when Liberals cancelled the hiring tax credit for small business. This year, the Liberals again failed to lower taxes on small businesses as promised and instead have increased EI premiums in the same year that CPP premiums are expected to rise.
As Justin Trudeau and his Liberals continue down a path of drowning Canadians in deficits and $140 billion in added debt, there is zero help for the middle-class. Any funding included is back end loaded, meaning Canadians will only see the bulk of proposed funding come in to effect well after the election year of 2019.
There is nothing in this budget for rural Canadians or seniors. It leaves little in the wallets of everyday Canadians. Putting aside the multiple re-announcements, the delayed funding and the lack of any definitive plans, there is more that this budget fails to do than it attempts to accomplish. As an economic blueprint it is a failure.
Even more disappointing is the lack of military spending included. The Liberals have cut another $8.5 billion to National Defence and have not committed to reversing their decision on taking away danger pay from our troops.
At a time when the US and NATO are putting additional pressure on its allies to meet commitments in military spending, Canada currently sits at around 1% of our GDP. As a result of this budget, the Liberals could reach the two-percent target not based on any investment in military spending but rather on the shrinking of our country’s GDP.
The Liberals have failed to develop a budget that demonstrates Canada is a leader on the world stage. Instead, this ‘wait-and-see’ budget allows the political climate in other countries to dictate Canada’s future.
Conservatives will continue to be the voice of the taxpayer. We will not stay silent while Justin Trudeau, like his father, nickel-and-dimes Canadians.