Communists Condemn Austerity Budget in Ontario

People’s Voice

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) has condemned the Ontario Budget, delivered March 27, as a massive attack on working people and the poor that will destroy tens of thousands of jobs, drive down wages, pensions, incomes and living standards. Combined with the austerity measures in the federal budget, it could push the province into another deep economic recession.

Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) leader Elizabeth Rowley

The Executive of the CPC (Ontario) also warned that the threat of legislated wage controls is a dangerous attack on free collective bargaining and on civil and democratic rights.

“There’s not much air between the Liberals and Tories when it comes to bashing workers and the poor, and restricting their rights. They both unerringly deliver the goods to Big Business, the banks and financial sector, and transnational corporations like Vale, US Steel, Caterpillar, Rio Tinto ‑ the source of the crisis in Ontario” said CPC (Ontario) leader Elizabeth Rowley. “Everything that falls in the way of bigger and bigger corporate profits is under acute attack.”

“The Tories’ push to force an election is not to protect the people of Ontario, but to advance their goal of building Tory majorities at the provincial and federal level, and of using their majority to introduce even more restrictions on civil, labour and democratic rights, undermining social and equality rights, driving down living standards, stripping the province of its public assets and natural wealth, militarizing the economy, and removing all impediments to unbridled corporate power and profiteering in Ontario.

“Defeating the Liberals to enable the Tories would be akin to jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. Working people must mobilize, organize and unite in mass, independent political action to defeat this budget, and force this minority government to bring in a new budget crafted to address people’s needs, not corporate greed.

“Real recovery – a recovery for people of their jobs, wages, incomes, pensions, living standards and purchasing power ‑ requires the government to address the revenue crisis caused by decades of corporate tax cuts, the elimination of progressive taxation and tax policies in Ontario, and massive chronic job losses in industry and manufacturing.

“Doubling corporate income taxes (CIT) to 22%, restoring the capital tax, raising capital gains tax to 100% of gains, introducing wealth and inheritance taxes on estates over $750,000 are steps that would move Ontario into recovery very quickly. With a US CIT rate of over 44%, Ontario’s corporate taxes would still be lower than in the US, and still be one of the lowest in the industrialized world.

“Putting Ontario to work would reduce the costs of unemployment, increase purchasing power and tax revenues, and move the economy towards productivity, growth and recovery.

“Implemented, full employment policies combined with progressive tax policies based on ability to pay would see the $16 billion provincial deficit disappear over time as recovery takes hold.

“Instead of austerity, the government supported by the NDP should adopt a budget that will:

– create jobs; and stop mass lay‑offs, plant closures and de‑industrialization with plant closure legislation and foreign investment legislation with teeth; and an environmentally sustainable, value‑added, industrial and manufacturing strategy for Ontario

– raise wages, incomes, pensions and living standards

– increase spending on social programs, health, public and post-secondary education; scrap sky‑rocketing tuition fees and user fees

– build a provincial system of universally accessible affordable quality public childcare

– build affordable social housing, and properly fund cities

– invest in Aboriginal communities and press for an early and just settlement of land claims

– support TVO, culture, amateur sports and recreation

– enact public auto insurance

– double corporate income taxes; restore the capital tax; expand capital gains; introduce wealth and inheritance taxes on estates over $750,000; and enact a progressive tax system based on ability to pay

– protect and expand labour, civil, social and democratic rights

“This is a prescription for a Peoples Recovery in Ontario,” said Rowley. “We call on the labour and democratic movements, the youth and students and all those inside and outside the Legislature opposed to austerity, to unite in action to force this minority Liberal government to withdraw its austerity budget, and bring in a new budget that meets the needs of working people, the unemployed and the youth who have seen their jobs, wages, incomes, pensions, savings, security and futures slashed. There is an alternative, and it’s worth fighting for. No more handouts to the 1%. No more tightening the belts of the 99%.”

*note: Original can be found here.

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