Budget sends mixed signals: Hughes

With pandemic concerns growing amidst the strongest wave yet, Monday’s budget offered a mixed bag of measures and highlighted the government’s reticence to ask Canada’s wealthiest  to contribute a little more to their country according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing MP, Carol Hughes.

That was one of the biggest take-aways from the budget that Hughes is describing as more of an election document than a budget.

“There was nothing to tap into the huge amount of money horded by Canada’s ultra-wealthy,” said Hughes.  “New Democrats wanted a wealth tax and measures to ensure pandemic profiteers are forced to become part of the solution – we see neither.”

Hughes is worried that some budget commitments will make it seem like action is being taken when it amounts to more study and program spending in the future.

“In many ways they continue to kick the can further down the road,” said Hughes. “It doesn’t matter if it is a throne speech or a budget, we get a lot of study now and spend in the future.”

Hughes was referring to the plan to have the federal government become a big player in childcare within five years.

“I think this is one area where that government is listening to New Democrats and a lot of validators on,” said Hughes. “We know that an investment like this only builds a stronger and more resilient economy, so we are going to hold them to this promise and want to make sure any dollars aren’t going to for-profit childcare.”

Hughes says her reaction was based on first blush and notes there will be more learned about the budget in the days ahead.

“It’s a 700-page document and there are going to be details that will be revealed as we study it more,” said Hughes.  “We waited almost two years for this budget, it’s not unreasonable to take some time unpacking it too.”

Carol Hughes