Volume 91, Issue 87

Friday, March 13, 1998

Bottoms up


Bountiful budget

Re: Budget is smoke and mirrors, March 4

To the Editor:
It's interesting to see that Mr. Frank didn't sign his name as he usually does, with the title Director-at-large Reform Club. Perhaps it's because he doesn't want us to know the source of his 'facts.' Perhaps his colleges in the Reform research department should go back to school for some math help. Fortunately for them, the federal budget makes education a lot more affordable.

First correction: the federal government cut its own direct program spending by 10.8 per cent, not two per cent as reported by Mr. Frank (or his Reform propaganda). As far as transfers to the provinces, the federal government's cuts represented only two per cent of total provincial revenues. How that two per cent can cause all the cuts to hospitals, education, welfare and other social services is beyond me.

The facts are that when the Liberals inherited the books, the country was on the verge of bankruptcy. Tough choices had to be made. That is called leadership. Now we have a balanced budget, a pension system that will now be around when I retire and a government that is committed to the youth of this country. When was the last time a finance minister dedicated close to half of his budget speech to concerns of Canada's youth? This package of scholarships, grants, interest relief and tax breaks is a welcome change to the constant announcements of tuition increases and education cuts that have come from Queen's Park. Incidentally, I did my taxes on the weekend and I didn't notice any tax cut. However, I did see a substantial increase in the tuition section. Thanks Mr. Harris and company!

Nawaz Tahir
Young Liberals Club

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Copyright The Gazette 1998