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TORONTO, Ont. Queen’s Park Ontarians don’t have to accept that privatizing public services is the only way to deal with the deficit, CUPE President Fred Hahn said today in response to the Ontario 2011 Budget.
This government knows they could maintain and even grow valued public services and even speed their pace of deficit reduction if they would only do what their own Federal Liberal Leader advises and cancel corporate tax cuts, CUPE Ontario President, Fred Hahn, said today at Queen’s Park.
The single step of cutting corporate tax giveaways would save almost $5 billion by 2013 and would also reduce interest payments both of which could further fund deficit reduction and protect public services, Hahn said. Instead the deficit remains higher than it has to and we are going to lose vital public services.
The Commission on Broader Public Sector Reform is just a dressed up Privatization Committee, Hahn said. If it were really about better service delivery wouldn’t it be led by someone with a background in public services? We should all remember the last experiment with broader public sector privatization, Accenture, which between 1997 and 2004, cost Ontario taxpayers over $500 million.
This budget signals that the Liberals have abandoned their anti-poverty agenda. With food bank use in Ontario skyrocketing 28 per cent and personal bankruptcies 35 per cent higher than before the 2008 financial crisis, Hahn noted the importance of a government that prioritizes Ontarians’ real needs. Instead, Hahn said, real needs are mostly ignored in a budget that serves a privileged few while others are ignored, such as those living on social assistance falling further behind inflation.
The Budget includes new spending for colleges and universities, children’s mental health services, and breast cancer research, but in a $124 billion budget, these are drops in the bucket compared to billions given away in corporate tax cuts, said Hahn.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Ontario has more than 240,000 members working in every corner of Ontario.
For more information, please contact:
Fred Hahn, President, CUPE Ontario, 416-540-3979
Kevin Wilson, CUPE Communications, 416-821-6641