The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The good, the bad and the ugly: The CTF examines the content of the Throne Speech
In a press release today, Kevin Gaudet with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) looks at the good, the bad and the ugly in the Speech from the Throne, opening the first session of the 40th Parliament.
“Today’s throne speech earns a mixed review”, said Kevin Gaudet. “The speech contains some good, some bad and, in some cases, downright ugly news for taxpayers moving forward in uncertain economic times.”
Here's the good, the bad and the ugly, according to the CTF:
The Throne Speech acknowledges a need to end the continued over-spending of the federal government when it states, "hard decisions will be needed to keep federal spending under control". The CTF has been critical of the federal government’s failure to meet a single one of its spending targets and hopes the speech’s commitment to put departmental spending ‘under the microscope’ is genuine.” Gaudet said: “The federal government will find Canadians are receptive to taking aim at wasteful programs, and a pledge to control the growth in the size and cost of the public service is welcome news.”
Another positive is the renewed commitment to Senate reform. “It is unacceptable that a modern 21st century democracy appoints one quarter of its lawmakers. Keeping Senate reform on the agenda is a good move.”
The Throne Speech seems to prepare for a return to deficit spending when it states that it would be "misguided to commit to a balanced budget at any cost.” “It is worrisome that a responsible government would be prepared to spend more than it takes in during tough times,” said Gaudet. “Responsible Canadians do not have this luxury, why should governments? The federal government should leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of keeping the books in the black and getting spending under control is the first step”
The throne speech also pledges to continue to pursue policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. “Taxpayers should be warned that a ‘cap-and-trade’ tax scheme is the evil twin of a carbon tax,” continued Gaudet. “Either way, it means higher energy prices and a costly bureaucratic mess that couldn’t come at a worse time.”
Also, ugly is a commitment to offer further aid to the auto and aerospace industries. “These industries are perpetually at the trough yet continue to shed jobs,” concluded Gaudet. “With the need to rein in spending to keep the books in the black, this type of corporate welfare along with billions handed out annually in grants and contributions to special interest groups, should be the first go to.”
Posted by Matthew Johnston
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