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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Essex MP says Liberal’s Fall Economic Statement is lacking

by Sylene Argent

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey (NDP) said there were missed opportunities to help families living paycheck-to-paycheck and local businesses after Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, delivered the 2018 Fall Economic Statement in the House of Commons. 

  The mini-type budget, Ramsey said, provides an update, and sometimes provides new introductions, on the Country’s economic state prior to the closing of the year.

  A booklet is provided to go along with the statement, and, of course, “We had a lot of questions about some of the things they announced; how they will roll out, how they will actually reach people?” she asked.

  Ramsey wondered what the amount would be after the Liberals announced funding allocated to the local news tax credit and tax deductions for news subscriptions, however, she fears these tax incentives will continue to give far more help to the web giants.

  Overwhelmingly, Ramsey said of the 2018 Fall Economic Update, are a lot of gifts to big business and nothing for people in regard to every day affordability.

  “We see really outrageous things, to be honest, talking about the ability to write of the cost of private jets and limousines, but we don’t see anything talking about the skyrocketing housing crisis, which we’re experiencing here in Essex. We are hearing it in our office,” Ramsey said.

  In addition, the Fall Economic Statement, she said, did not speak to Pharmacare. “They are studying it yet again. But, there are continuing to be, every day, reports of people coming out and essentially [saying] how much they are spending out of their own pocket to afford their medication.

  “There are some real things that need to be done to help Canadians, and we did not see that in this budget,” Ramsey said. “I would say, overall, the biggest piece of concern for me, is the lack of addressing the issue of how in debt Canadians are. We are in a record-level of debt where, in Canadian households right now, people are owing a $1.69 for every $1 of their disposable income.”

These are things that need to be addressed, Ramsey said, adding the Fall Economic Statement, “is a very one-sided budget update, where we see corporations are receiving a whole lot of great things for tax breaks for themselves and then on the other side, we see nothing for actual Canadians and their every day lives.

  “When there isn’t a plan from the government to help people with these real issues that are affecting them every day, it is just such a missed opportunity. We continue down this path of unaffordability, wages that are really stagnant,” Ramsey said, adding that a minimum wage increase has been cancelled at the provincial level.

“Overall,” she added, “I am thinking of my family farmers,” she said of those who work to supply poultry, eggs, and dairy.

Ramsey said there is no money in this budget, that was promised to them, to offset the CETA, CPTPP, and the USMCA trade agreements.

In addition, “The tariff issue continues to just be slamming us in Southwestern Ontario. We know the government has collected over $500 million dollars, but we don’t see anything in this budget to address the fact the money being collected is actually reaching people who are impacted and trying to protect jobs and our small shops,” Ramsey said.


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