Monday, July 24, 2006

A time to unite

The Star reports on the Cons' plan to change federal/provincial funding, which as with everything else Harper has done seems likely to prioritize random tax hacking over effective funding:
The Conservative government plans a something-for-everyone approach to fix the so-called fiscal imbalance — offering about a $1 billion boost in equalization that would appeal to the poorer provinces, as well as additional money for post-secondary education that would particularly please Ontario.

It also envisions income and corporate tax cuts it hopes will appeal across the country...

The government has projected "quite high" revenues over the next two or three years, the insider explained, so it can afford to cut taxes, continue to spend on social programs, "and deal in a modest way with this equalization and other federal transfer programs."
Needless to say, the provinces (and Canadians) would be far better served by making equalization and transfer payments the top priorities - not by having such core funding issues dealt with in a "modest" way while yet another round of tax cuts takes top billing. But the good news is that now that the Cons' cards are on the table, it should be a lot easier for the provinces to join forces to seek a solution which will strengthen their ability to deliver programs rather than undermining it.

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