BUDGET 2010: Unable to spend big or whack taxes . . . - Macleans.ca

BUDGET 2010: Unable to spend big or whack taxes . . .

Flaherty cuts tariffs and red tape


Unable to spend big or whack taxes, Flaherty cuts tariffs and red tapeWithout any splashy new spending or landmark tax cuts to announce, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty faced a tough challenge trying to convey an upbeat economic vision in his 2010 budget.

There was no getting around his budget’s somber central message of restraint. Still, Flaherty tried for a more positive tone by blending traditional Conservative aims, like freer trade and less red tape, with some themes familiar from the old Liberal government, like innovation and education.

Flaherty’s move to make Canada a tariff-free zone for manufacturers importing machinery and equipment was perhaps the closest he came to a bold stroke. “This will give Canada the status of being the first G20 country to become a tariff-free-zone for manufacturers,” he told the House in his budget speech.

His budget estimates that eliminating tariffs on the gear manufacturers import to improve production will save them $300 million a year in duties. In related moves, he promised to upgrade the international taxation system to cut red tape involved in the taxation of cross-border business.

Drawing inspiration from the way British Columbia and Ontario streamlined regulations, Flaherty announced the creation of a new Red Tape Reduction Commission, with a mandate to reduce the paper burden of complying with federal rules on small business in particular.

Less regulation and freer trade are both well within Flaherty’s comfort zone. They were also aims he could pursue without adding to spending or tinkering with taxes. The rest of his bid to project an upbeat economic vision relied on modest spending for projects that symbolize the economy’s future.

He announced $45 million over five years into establishing a post-doctoral fellowship program aimed at luring top emerging university researchers to Canada. The program is designed to pay up to 140 researchers $70,000 a year for two years.

Also in the world of high-level research, the budget earmarks $222 million over five years for British Columbia’s TRIUMF, the world’s largest cyclotron, a particle physics research facility. And $18 million is allocated over five years for the pre-construction design work on a new research station in the High Arctic—a project that straddles the government’s messages on innovation and Arctic sovereignty.

Among a cluster of other measures Flaherty packaged together as trying to promote economic growth through innovation:

— boosting the budgets of research granting councils by $32 million a year;

— injecting another $75 million into Genome Canada, on top of the $840 million Ottawa has already pumped into the not-for-profit corporation;

— giving the National Research Council $135 million to support 11 regional technology clusters across the country;

— investing $397 million over five years in the Canadian Space Agency’s work to develop radar remote-sensing satellites.

In wrapping up his budget speech, Flaherty made a bid to connect, at least rhetorically, his small-scale pro-innovation measures to his much bigger challenge—trying to persuade critics he has a real plan to rein in the deficit.

“We will balance the budget, but not for its own sake,” he said, before sketching a Tory vision of restrained government. “We must support, not replace, the talent and hard work of Canadians,” he said. “We must support, not suppress, their freedom and creativity.”


BUDGET 2010: Unable to spend big or whack taxes . . .

  1. I would rather have my taxes increase slightly (1-2% GST or income) than to risk not being able to maintain our universal healthcare, ensuring pension safety for the aging baby boomers and keep our social services.
    I've yet to understand why some people are so against receiving services form the government?

    • People do not wnat government services because in order to have them you have to pay taxes. I don't like paying taxes. The more that people become dependent on the government,the more power and control the government will have over them. This could continue to the point of total government control. IE you need permission to take a piss.
      I don't like the idea of having to ask permission to piss, or asking for permission.
      Q: Why do you pay taxes?????
      A: Because they told you to, and if you don't… it's legalized extortion.

      I hope this helps to answer your very vague question.

      • Oh good grief. Take your slippery slope and slide right out of here. The reverse argument would be the less we pay in taxes the less the government will control until the point where the Hell's Angels can ride into your living room and shoot you in the face with no consequence.

        It's garbage in either direction.

  2. both eva and nighthawker made good points. The US is a prime example of how a privatized healthcare system works. By giving healthcare a dollar value they way they did has made americans some of the unhealthiest ppl in the world. Also, with all the stimulus packages the US gov't passed has made it easier to control the population. In Canada, what few ppl realize is that provincially and federally, we are almost 1 trillion in debt. The federal debt last I checked was around the 500 billion mark and Ontario alone was something like 160 billion. raising the gst 1-2% to keep our healthcare system in the mediocrity it is a small drop in the ocean compared to what we need to do. Spending cuts need to happen and they need to happen now.
    -I have respect for our soldiers but we have no business in afghanistan, the are of no threat to us and those who do consider us a threat are only because we align ourselves with the US. We will be spending 30 billion a year by 2011 on military

    – We need to take control of our national resources and stop selling them to foreign owned corporations, we are one of if not he only nation that has this policy. Norway is prime example of how they used oil sales to help support them

    -issuing tax credits for any activities related to being healthy like gym memberships cost the govt very little and will keep ppl off unnecessary drugs and also out of the clinics and hospitals thus saving money in healthcare.

    -advancing cheap reusable energy like solar energy and windmill farms should reduce energy costs so ppl can save more

    -reducing and eventually eliminating student loans will force college and universities to reduce tuition. Perhaps issue tax credits to companies employing post secondary students instead of spending the money on student loans will help push the private sector up.

    just a few thoughts

    • Reducing and eventually eliminating student loans will force colleges and universities to close. Or do you somehow think that professors work for free?