Feel Good Budget

Liberals Masters of Rhetoric, Disguise and Illusion, says Lunney

OTTAWA—Dr. James Lunney, MP for Nanaimo-Alberni, responded today to the federal Liberal government’s budget. “Liberals like big numbers and feel good phrases. Billions for child care over five years; military spending over five years; health spending over ten years. Trumpeting big numbers gives an illusion of substance,” said Lunney afterward.

With a lot of seniors on fixed income on Vancouver Island, Lunney hoped that a positive feature of the budget would be the increase to the Guaranteed Income Supplement. “The Finance Minister’s speech made it seem that seniors had won the lottery, but the reality is quite different,” said Lunney. “The increase, when fully implemented, will amount to $1.20 a day. But don’t get excited; it is going to come in instalments. The first sixty cents a day will kick in on January 2006, and the second instalment a year later. For a senior on a fixed income, waiting two years to embrace an extra $1.20 a day isn’t much to look forward to.”

Lunney was pleased to see increased funding for the military, but warned that the Liberal habit is to over-promise and under-deliver, especially with the armed forces. “Most of the $12 billion in military spending was money already promised. The real increase will amount to some $800 million per year, but we’ve seen that one before. Six months later, they get a $200 million claw-back. Meeting the objectives of increased military personnel, the increased wages, the improvements in military housing that are desperately needed, and updating our armed forces equipment will require all that money and more,” said Lunney. “The Liberals have short-changed our CF personnel for over a decade; we will be watching closely to make sure they actually deliver on their promises.”

The token tax relief in the budget is supposed to satisfy Conservatives and the amendment that Mr. Harper and the Conservatives forced into the Throne Speech, Lunney said. “The Liberals have increased the personal exemption by a mere $100 for the 2006 tax year. For low and middle income earners, the difference between that and nothing isn’t much. But by 2008, the basic personal exemption will increase by $400,” stated Lunney.

“Like many of the spending announcements in this budget, the tax reduction is classic Liberal economics; you’re promised a peanut today, and the bag of nuts after the next election,” concluded Lunney.

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