Monday, May 01, 2006

Budget Eve

Tomorrow is the day.

After tomorrow, we will know whether we have elected a government we can count on, a government we can believe in, a government who will keep its promises.

As my own personal litmus test, I expect no less than the following to ensure my continued support of the current Prime Minister and his government:

1) GST Cut

This is an absolute no-brainer. Failure to implement this would mean certain death. While there are those who argue it is not good economics (and this may be true) the truth is that if this one thing is not implemented then no one will trust anything politcians say from this point on.

2) Spending reductions

The Conservatives in opposition have railed about the unnecessary largesse of the previous Liberal government. There was no problem too big or too small that the Liberals were not prepared to spend billions of dollars over ten years (provided the provinces and municipalities put up their share). Modest savings are there to be found and failure to do so would mean it is just business as usual and we are being bought with our own money.

3) Child Care Allowance

Whatever you want to call it and whether you believe it will make any difference, it was a promise the governmnet made. (See point 1). There are many, many people who do not have access to subsidized day-care, who use relatives and friends as sitters, who stay at home and take the hit because they would rather raise their kids than have someone else do it. These people all deserve a little help and this sort of universal credit for all is sorely needed.

4) Income Tax Cuts

Regardless of what some may say, the last minute reductions by the Liberals was a crass and obvious attempt to buy votes. The cuts were implemented (if you don't believe me, look at Schedule 1 of your T1 General return). To increase them again would be short sighted. Income Tax reductions ARE good economics. However, I would rather see the total tax burden simplified rather than reduced. The number of deductions/reductions/credits and exemptions merely means that most of us don't see much in the way of tax relief and we are subsidizing other people's life choices in the name of good tax planning.

5) Military Spending

See last week's post about honouring our soldiers. The crap our military has had to put up with over the past 20 years is enough to make one weep. We cannot expect to be peacekeepers, let alone peacemakers, when we cannot transport our own troops, when we cannot protect our own troops and when we cannot arm our troops properly.

There will be other fluff and irrelevant issues in the budget, and I am sure the left will howl about no funding for Kyoto (I will post my opinion of why Kyoto is bad public policy later), but at the end of the day, if PM Harper et al can meet the above, they will have my continued support.


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