Publications, opinions, and speeches
The Down Payment Budget
Published on 01/03/1997
The 1997 federal Budget is a ‘Down Payment’ budget because it represents only a first step in social reinvestment. The centrepiece of the Budget was the announcement of a National Child Benefit System, which has the potential to be the most important social policy innovation since medicare. While the National Child Benefit System is only one measure required to address the deep-rooted and complex problem of poverty, it is a crucial tool which over time can help reduce the depth of poverty among working poor families with children. The National Child Benefit System can help break down the ‘welfare wall’ that prevents many families from moving off social assistance and into the workforce. By engaging Ottawa and the provinces in a common goal, the new system can help demonstrate that federalism can be made to work better. Other Budget measures with respect to persons with disabilities, job creation and health are significant, but very modest, improvements. Finally, while we are pleased to see a falling deficit, we oppose the setting of fiscal targets more stringent than the ones already in place. A fiscal policy that is too tight can have as negative an effect on the economy as a high deficit.
ISBN – 1-895796-73-3