If we, as citizens, are all to bear our share of the deficit, then let us all share the burden equally and without prejudice!
Our current government has brought down a mini budget that has left 99 per cent of Newfoundland and Labrador citizens gob-smacked and scratching our heads with one hand while rubbing our posteriors with the other! The hardest hit among us will, in my opinion, be those who rely on income support and others who earn less than $25,000 per year.
They are seniors who rely solely on OAS and the GIS and disabled people who rely on income support and CPP or a combination of both (resulting in claw backs which almost entirely negate any gain being made). Parents with preschoolers. The working poor who can ill-afford any increases.
The government has introduced a ‘temporary levy’ that will see those who earn the least ($25,000) contribute the most $300 (1.2 per cent) as compared with someone who makes $500,000 or more only contributing $900 (0.18 per cent) of their respective incomes. If the government were to apply this levy fairly, we would see the ones earning $500,000 pay 1.2 per cent or $6,000 instead of the proposed 0.18 per cent. That would be fair, so why not do that?
As for the government being ‘good examples by taking a 10 per cent pay cut, in my opinion, it is not enough. A total wage freeze on all government salaries until the debt is paid would have been better.
I am afraid all this budget does is drive Newfoundlanders away from the province they love so dear.
A 16.5 cent increase per litre of gas is also another way this budget will gouge the most vulnerable.
If we cannot equally bear the burden that affects all of us equally, then let those hardest hit bear a financially proportionate amount of the burden, not the lions share!
— Wanda White (Persons for Welfare Rights in NL) writes from Broad Cove