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CTF Calls for Removal of Bias in Budget Survey

February 06, 2015
CTF Calls for Removal of Bias in Budget Survey
  • Survey mysteriously doesn't include scaling back government employee pay and benefits as an option

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) asked the Minister of Finance today to reword the government’s online budget survey and remove bias so that respondents can participate in a more neutral discussion.

“We keep hearing the government say everything is on the table, but their survey doesn’t say anything about scaling back employee pay,” said CTF Prairie Director Colin Craig. “Those participating in the survey are given the impression the government can either fire staff and eliminate services or raise taxes and keep staff in place. Obviously the government could keep staff, but bring their pay and benefit levels down to more reasonable levels.”

The CTF noted that per person government spending in Alberta last year ($10,754) was 21 per cent higher than in British Columbia ($8,857).

“B.C. has similar levels of services, but they have managed to keep a lid on rising payroll costs,” continued Craig. “Albertans shouldn’t be led to believe there are only two unimaginative choices – cut services or raise taxes.”

The CTF also noted that employee pay and benefits cost taxpayers over $18 billion annually.

Lastly, Craig noted the government should have presented the public with other innovative options instead of just suggesting taxes either go up or services are cut. For example: contracting out services, gainsharing and pursuing partnerships with other governments.

By
on February 07, 2015
That survey is extremely manipulative in it's wording and choices. It will offer nothing but skewed results and quite frankly I am disgusted. Regardless of one's opinion - there was no specific option to elect ONLY raising corporate taxes, nor was increasing oil royalties available as a selection. I do not consider myself to be far left or right but when I see billions upon billions of dollars in revenue annually with profits going up every year and much of it leaving the Country (natural gas revenue going to a European company for example) I can't help but to think they should be paying a more comparable rate of taxation to the rest of us. To fear that every business is going to pull out of Alberta or Canada because they have to take a little hit to their profit margins is sheer cowardice. Naturally there was no mention of cutting the severance packages and pensions of both public employees and elected officials. Their 5% pay cut was a joke after they just gave themselves 3% or so that they weren't supposed to - but Prentice couldn't bring himself to take it away. Perhaps they should also mention the potential added revenue if tax exemption under the Indian Act were abolished and reserve employment/business/resource income were taxed; particularly when there is entitlement to tax based benefits. When are the Provincial and Federal governments going to deal with that issue Colin? Gross mismanagement by this Alberta PC government and Prentice is more of the same.

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