Top five things you need to know about the budget

The quick and easy guide to what stands out in Budget 2012

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• It proposes raising the limit on Old Age Security from 65 to 67, but gradually over six years, starting in 2023. Canadians who are eligible for OAS as of July can also opt to defer their OAS cheques for five years and receive higher payments down the road.

• Despite calls for the government to lower mortgage amortization rates from 30 years to 25 to try to cool Canada’s overheated housing market, there was no mention of mortgage reforms in the budget. The government did, however, promise to introduce legislation that would increase oversight of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation “to ensure its commercial activities are managed in a manner that promotes the stability of the financial system,” but provided few details on its planned changes.

• The government had estimated it would slash anywhere from $4-$8 billion in spending, cutting as many as 60,000 jobs. The actual number? $5.2 billion and 12,000 jobs, with the spending cuts coming from Health, International Assistance, National Defence and Public Safety.

• It promises a raft of new spending for research, business investment and natural resource development, including $400 million to encourage venture capitalists to invest in small cutting-edge companies, an extra $110 million a year to the National Research Council to double its Industrial Research Assistance Program, a new fund aimed specifically business investment in Western Canada and a promise to streamline the environmental assessment process for new resource development projects.

• It wages a war on charities that collect foreign donations and fund political causes, making it more difficult for them to channel foreign money into political advocacy. The move is a response to Tides Canada and other environmental groups that have used their charitable status to fight pipeline projects.

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Top five things you need to know about the budget

  1. Conservative ideologues: cut
    government spending but keep the billions in corporate handouts
    coming. Cut public services, mess with OAS, delay retirements
    but corporate welfare is off limits. Fire those no good lazy
    public servants and give big business millions and millions of free
    tax payers dollars so we can hire, fire, and move jobs to Mexico or
    China even as we generate healthy profits. Back to public
    servants and government programs (chuckle, chuckle) when we say cut,
    we don’t mean government workers processing corporate tax credits,
    “incentives”, business giving programs and anything else
    needed to man the trough. Just making sure we’re on the same page.
    Clamp down on social benefits they are a drain on the public
    purse and create a sense of entitlement, except of course, for very
    wealthy Canadians who are entitled to park their millions offshore,
    Cayman Islands and such, and avoid paying the taxes most Canadians
    have no choice but to pay (after all, who would finance corporate
    welfare if most Canadians did not pay their fair share of taxes).
    Government should be more like business…because the private
    sector is so much more efficient…except the thousands that go belly
    every year – those don’t count. We believe in the free
    market, competition, little regulation, except…Canadians should not
    be allowed to shop freely across the border where there is more
    competition and much better prices. Back to public servants and
    regulations (chuckle, chuckle). I hope we understand each other -
    customs enforcement and regulations on Canadians’ ability to order
    from Amazon.com at mouth watering prices are not part of what we mean
    by “cut regulation and the public service”.To add insult to
    injury (chuckle) its fun to gouge Canadians – charging $40 CDN for
    something with a US$32 sticker when the dollar has been at par for a
    while. We believe in accountability but not in holding big
    business accountable for the millions of free dollars we get from the
    government – don’t ask us to show Canadian tax payers their ROI on
    corporate welfare. Canadian tax payers should be satisfied that
    extremely generous corporate tax breaks (especially compared to other
    OECD countries) result in job creation. Period. End of conversation.
    How many jobs corporations actually create with free tax payer
    dollars is none of the tax payers’ business. Just accept that it
    works wonders. Hogwash.

    How about some analysis. Are tax payers
    really getting their money’s worth from handing out teh hard earned
    money of averagre andians to big corporations? How many jobs do they
    create in comparison to what corporations in other countries. How
    well paying are these jobs? How long do tey actually last? Why are
    those so concerned with eliminating tehdeficit not asking tehse
    questions and demanding acountability from the priavte sector as they
    demand from the public sector? The government has poured millions
    of tax payers dollars into R&D tax credits for corporations
    while the private sector has been dragging its feet for years – not
    doing their share, underpeforming the private sector in other OECD
    countries. Where is the accountability?

    As the Canadian government fires public
    sector workers and cuts back on services that benefit the average
    person, to make up for billions of corporate welfare dollars,
    Canadians should ask themselves if corporations can be trusted not to
    put profit ahead of safety in food, the environment, drugs and so
    many other things that touch the live of families and communities.
    What is the track read of multinationals on this? Why did we need
    regulations and government oversight to begin with? Harper Inc
    inherited over a decade of surpluses when they came to power in 2006
    and proceeded to implement policies that got the country quickly into
    deficit and yet they get a pass. We are supposed to believe that the
    ideologues who created the problem now have the wisdom to get us out
    of it, Based on what track record? Harper Inc did two very specific
    things that are the main root of the problem. They choked off
    government revenue by handing out millions of tax payer dollars as
    corporate welfare. This was supposed to bring about an avalanche of
    jobs. The private sector took the money and failed to deliver. Yes,
    jobs were created but our abysmal unemployment rate (compared to
    nations that have a much lower corporate welfare rate) is nothing to
    brag about. Secondly, this so called conservative government went on
    a shopping spree and ballooned government expenditures.

    The public service and those Canadians
    who now have to work two extra years did not cause this – the
    politicians did. But it is the average Canadian and the people who
    serve them who have to pay this gross mismanagement of tax payer
    dollars. No company grows by choking its revenue. Nothing wrong with
    cost cutting but it is no substitute for revenue. But this is what
    Harper Inc have done and the simpletons applaud and attack those who
    did not cause the problem. Your child’s teacher, your doctor or
    nurse, those who ensure the safety of our food and drugs, of the
    environment where are kids grow, of our communities, borders, and
    freedoms, who issue OAS cheques, these are not your enemies. These
    are your neighbours, friends, the person you sit next to on the bus.
    Their earnings don’t go to foreign tax shelters. If they are well
    paid they spend it in their communities and their purchases create
    jobs. They don’t close down or leave. Their income buys homes,
    fridges, cars and this creates jobs. Public sector workers, like all
    other workers in this country, support many small businesses where
    they work and where they live.

    Jobless people don’t spend as much.
    Fire public sector workers to make up for the politicians’ bad
    policies and decisions an you hurt businesses – especially small
    businesses. Public service employees are not the cause of the
    problem, they did not create the problem, and they are not parasites
    or thieves. When they leave, as past governments have shown, they are
    simply replaced by higher paid consultants – it is simply accounted
    for differently and so the public does not see this. Stop falling
    into the lies the cons and big corporations are creating to pit
    average Canadians against each other and stop accepting the tired old
    lies. Start asking for accountability of politicians and corporate
    welfare recipients not of seniors who have a right to retire at 65
    after a life of work and not of the average person who has to pay for
    this squandering of billions of dollars with higher fees, less
    services, and lower real incomes, and mountains of student debt.

    • >these are not your enemies.

      No, but they sure seem to need a lot of pay and benefits at a time when many of us took it in the neck (those of us that kept our jobs).  It must be hard in public service – the anxiety of all that job and pension security.

  2. $ 500 million to support private sector innovation and commercialization of technology.   In the past a huge proportion of subsidies to private sector for Research and Development have been boondoggles.  The businesses get the money and do not produce the commercial technology promised.  The amount of money that will go into private pockets through this Research and Development funding will be a lot more than the MP and Senator dipping into the public purse.

    Our academic and government research centres are producing world class research.  We should not be diverting funds from these.  In Canada, the best way to encourage commercialization of technology is for the government to purchase advanced health care technologies for our hospitals and clinics.  This encourages the businesses that supply and service these technologies to invest and to innovate. 

  3. The real economic issue presented by the aging demographic will be a labour shortage.  But if handled properly these jobs can be filled by the hidden unemployed.  We need training programs and adjustment of workplaces to accommodate disabled people, and other groups disadvantaged in competition for jobs.  If these people are enabled they can have rewarding careers, and fill the labour shortage created by retirement of the baby boomers.  

  4. Thebes, perhaps you should check your spelling.

  5. Thebes is most likely unemployed or works in the public sector or for Tides.

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