Flaherty to table budget May 2
[PoliticsWatch Posted 4:45 p.m. April 24, 2006]
|Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.
OTTAWA — Mark
Tuesday May 2 on your calendar.
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty revealed in the House of
Commons Monday that will be the day the first budget of the new
Conservative government will be tabled.
The budget will include two key Conservative election promises --
the first one per cent cut in the GST and the government's plan to
send parents with children under the age of six a monthly cheque of
$100 per child to help with child care costs.
"I am approaching our government’s first budget much like a typical Canadian family: setting priorities, making realistic choices and finding ways to live within our means,"
Flaherty said in a statement.
"Canadians have chosen change. They want a government that treats their tax dollars with respect. That means making responsible choices, being accountable and delivering on the priorities we proposed to Canadians."
The Conservatives need the support of at least one of the three
opposition parties to get the budget passed and avoid the defeat of
It is unlikely any party would defeat the government given an
election was held just three months ago and the Liberals are in the
midst of a leadership race that will not conclude until
Nonetheless, two of the opposition parties were already sabre
rattling on Monday and making budget demands.
Liberal MP John McCallum told reporters the Liberals would have a
difficult time supporting the budget if it rolled back a one per
cent cut in income taxes that were introduced by the Martin
government in November.
Flaherty is expected to reverse that cut in order to pay for the
across the board GST cut.
"I am not today in a position to say how we will vote on a
budget that we have not seen," said McCallum. "I am saying
we would be very hard pressed not to vote against a budget that
raised income tax."
Meanwhile, NDP Leader Jack Layton said his party will introduce a
list of items it wants to see in the budget on Tuesday.
Layton said that list will include things he has brought up in
meetings with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, including long-term
child-care space funding, post-secondary education funding and
action on climate change.
Harper consulted with the opposition parties in advance of the
throne speech, but Layton noted in the House of Commons that Harper
has "abandoned that approach" in recent days.
Last week, Harper toured four cities across the country and
delivered speeches in which he dared the opposition parties to
defeat his government on the child-care plan and the GST cut that
will be key components of the budget.
In question period on Monday, Layton criticized the PM for "going around the country acting like a schoolyard bully."
"He was threatening the opposition parties," Layton said.
"If we are going to make Parliament work we need dialogue, not dares."
Harper denied the bully allegation and said his party was
"(But) at the same time we have commitments to fulfill,"
the PM said in question period. "The reality is that the child care allowance is a budget measure. Therefore, it is a confidence measure and we hope that all parties will see the wisdom of supporting money that goes directly to parents."
Layton said after question period that Harper has given him no
indication that he is considering long-term funding for child care.
"He seems hung up on this mythology that a tax rebate of some
sort is going to create child care spaces -- it doesn't work, it's
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