Sunday, September 27, 2009

Ignatieff promises cuts, spending.

The article below is from the Ottawa Citizen.
Certainly Ignatieff is correct that the Harper government has consistently changed its predictions about the deficit upwards--but the same is true of the Liberal govt. of Ontario. Ignatieff's promise of spending cuts gives absolutely no guidance as to where he thinks cuts could be made. I doubt it will be to supporting the Afghan mission! At the same time Ignatieff claims he will pour money into various new programs such as rebuilding infrastructure. This is all very well but in the absence of any information about how much and where he will make spending cuts this is little but self-serving rhetoric. Harper can simply portray Ignatieff as a big spender Liberal who will make the deficit even higher!

Ignatieff promises cuts, spending

By James Cowan, Canwest News ServiceSeptember 22, 2009

Michael Ignatieff accused Conservatives Monday of making a "mess" of the country's finances, saying it is now impossible to tell what spending cuts are needed to eliminate the projected $56-billion deficit.
The Liberal leader said his party would cut government expenditures in a bid to rebalance the budget. But he offered no specifics about possible cuts, saying the Conservatives' "wishful projections" make it difficult to determine the deficit's size. "Upon taking office, we'll conduct a full audit of our public finances. We'll open the books and find out where we really are," he told the Toronto Board of Trade. "That's step one."
The current government has repeatedly hiked the projected size of the deficit for the current fiscal year, from $36 billion in January's budget to $50 billion in May to $56 billion earlier this month. "I can't tell you if it will be $60 billion at Christmas," Ignatieff said after the speech.
While calling for spending cuts, Ignatieff also said his party would pour money into new programs aimed at stimulating the economy. A Liberal government would fund job training programs, help manufacturers buy new equipment and provide additional support for high-tech sectors, he said. There would also be increased funding for public transit, roads, water systems, bridges and Internet infrastructure.
Ignatieff said his party would also fund trade missions to improve trade with India and China. The Liberal plan stands in contrast with the vision put forward by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he said.
"Our proposition to Canadians is that you can't get growth unless government leads. Mr. Harper's proposition is 'just let it happen, it will all work out in the end.' Well, it won't all work out in the end unless you have a government that invests strategically," he said.
While offering few details, Ignatieff did rule out funding the new programs with tax hikes.
The Liberal caucus announced earlier this month that it would no longer support the Conservatives in the House of Commons and would actively begin pushing for the government's downfall and an ensuing election. Harper's government survived a non-confidence vote last week with the support of the NDP and Bloc Quebecois.
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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