Tom Mulcair 4 Prime Minister #4

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KenS
Tom Mulcair 4 Prime Minister #4

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KenS

A cautionary tale for Canada's NDP looking at the road ahead:

On the Nova Scotia government, cribbed from the last thread:

KenS wrote:

You'll be hard pressed to find a thing that the Dexter government has done or even indicated for the future that is more social democratic in nature. Its all getting the books in order. Thats been so great, its obvious that will be their entire re-election message: getting the job done, more to do yet.

In fact, its going so well, lets start talking about income tax cuts. We arent even finished with draconian cuts when the 'fat' is already gone, and lets have some income tax cuts.

 

Gaian wrote:

Hardly likely until the books are balanced again, following the grants to Irving's boatyards that allowed the firm to put forward winning bids on the federal ship-building contracts. Or does this person from central Canada have that wrong? The jobs that it promises to provide for a couple of decades have to be attractive to folk used to goin' down the road.

They have already said that when the books are balanced again that the surpluses will go to bringing down the HST. Which is on top of the modest income and corporate tax cuts announced today that are now part of the long term fiscal structure.

So this takes us at least half way through the second mandate of the government. When we have really deep cuts to education spending that no one knows how long they go on. Now the argument can be made that was unpleasant but necessary. But you should at least be wondering when once the books are balanced again- and even before while we are still making deeper and deeper cuts, the first thing on the agenda is tax cuts.

Remind me again where "thus be able to provde programs that are more social democratic in nature." comes in?

Let's see, well into second mandate and its nothing but spending cuts and tax cuts. And now the tax cuts have peeled back long term government fiscal capacity, already hit by continuing declines in equalization payments and offshore gas royalties. Which leaves what room now for doing anything else? And what do you know, here it is time to be thinking about getting re-elected again, and how was it we got and stayed here now?

 

1springgarden

Re: NS NDP Government

#1 You can't have socialism while running a deficit.

#2 The $304 million investment in Irving Shipbuilding is tied to Irving Shipyard creating 4000 jobs.  The goal is to grow the economy including tax revenue.

#3 The .5% business tax cut and promised HST cut (from 15% HST+GST sales tax) is aimed at growing the economy including tax revenue.  Plus some electioneering, no doubt.

Yes, the NS NDP has put industrial policy ahead of social policy in its first term.  I think the calculation was that first the deficit needed to be eliminated and second the pie had to be grown.

#4 You can't have socialism while running a deficit.

 

Hehe, or maybe I'm kidding myself.

KenS

That's a straw person no one is didagrring with: "you cant have socialism while running a deficit".

If thats what it is all about, how do you explain thjat before we even get out of deficit spending we have:

** tax cuts

** promises of bigger tax cuts as soon as we get into surpluses.

That IS cutting the fiscal capacity of the government- and doing it for the long term.

Please square that for me with how it all has to be about getting rid of the deficit before we can talk about even very very modest things that social democracy is for?

KenS

1springgarden wrote:

The .5% business tax cut and promised HST cut [Ed: and what amounts to and is positioned as a small income tax cut] is aimed at growing the economy including tax revenue.  Plus some electioneering, no doubt.

Tax cuts grow the economy and create more tax revenue so we can do more.

Now where have I heard that before?

Sad that people buy this shit because it comes from the lips of [alleged] social democrats.

1springgarden wrote:

Yes, the NS NDP has put industrial policy ahead of social policy in its first term. I think the calculation was that first the deficit needed to be eliminated and second the pie had to be grown.

There is no industrial policy. Just that Chicago school crap about supposedly growing the economy. That has served us so well in North America.

 

KenS

1springgarden wrote:

#2 The $304 million investment in Irving Shipbuilding is tied to Irving Shipyard creating 4000 jobs.  The goal is to grow the economy including tax revenue.

It is tied to actual job creation. But it also means that much more deficit spread over a few years. For that we will not have school libraries with any staff and soon no books either, lose a lot of 'special programs' in the schools, burden the reduced number of teachers with no help anymore with the special needs students in the classrooms. But tax cuts are cool.

And "grow the economy" is just spin for staying on the treadmill for the umbilical cord of the unsustainable megaproject economy.

1springgarden

It's like Ireland here (NS).  Even more than services, people want jobs and particularly good jobs.  The Dexter government has had an active industrial policy to invest in the creation of good jobs - their detractors say union jobs, but it has been paper mills, wind turbine mfg and national defence ship building.  All this while battling down a deficit.

On social policy the NDP gov't has raised minimum wage, raised welfare payments.  Yes some public employees involved in services (health, education) have been trimmed but nothing that can't be addressed when the deficit is gone and the pot is bigger.

The .5% cuts to business taxes have been giving back pennies - I don't like it but it's either electioneering, attempting to compete with other provinces or trying to create jobs and 'grow the pie'.

I'm glad you are making a critical case KenS, because I don't feel that comfortable with the industrial policy/'grow the pie' focus of our NDP gov.  But Nova Scotia suffers badly from rural unemployment and urban underemployment, so people want jobs.  And if the Dexter government can create jobs and eliminate the deficit then maybe enhanced social policies will follow post-deficit.

 

 

KenS

You still have not addressed squaring all of that with making tax cuts while we are in a years long process of deep cuts to essential services. You just keep re-offering the Chicago School 'grow the pie' BS that has sold us down the drain across the Continent!

Its ALL and only about making sure we get anothe rmajority- no 'grow the pie'. I agree with you that people believe that it is the path to having jobs. Its so good a line that even you buy it even as you know something doesnt quite smell right about this.

Fidel

KenS wrote:

That IS cutting the fiscal capacity of the government- and doing it for the long term.

Please square that for me with how it all has to be about getting rid of the deficit before we can talk about even very very modest things that social democracy is for?

What happens if NS were to raise the corporate tax rate above PEI's? It's already higher than the same rate in Newfoundland and NB.

And the answer is that NS will bleed jobs to surrounding provinces. That's how the top-down neoliberal ideology works in this country. The feds have pledged to keep the federal rate low and thereby pitting every provincial economy, small and large, against every other one on corporate taxes and other corporate welfare goodies in order that they be more reliant on global "market forces". It's invisible hand baloney and amounts to so much centrally-planned race to the bottom mentality emanating from Ottawa.

The provinces are to be made as separate and distinct mini-fiefdoms to be exploited by corporate raiders and marauding international capital, and the feds shall do nothing about it. Their political impotence in Ottawa is not a real medical condition, though. It's all in their heads.

KenS

1springgarden wrote:

Yes some public employees involved in services (health, education) have been trimmed but nothing that can't be addressed when the deficit is gone and the pot is bigger.

"Some." !?

That is incredibly sanguine. Though somewhat excusable in that the MSM and the majority of the public is not yet aware of how deep the cutting that is waiting to be announced, and will continue into this governments next mandate that I'm sure they have easily bought.

Aftert the big talk last year about huge cuts in the schools, the budget cut that came down and the consequent position cuts were relatively modest. But that was the strategy, and it was apparent last year by the way: talk real big, back away right now, and actually do the big talk over the next few years.

Right after the budget dust settles you'll start hearing the school position cuts numbers, and whole functions gone. And many many parents have already heard what will happen at least. Principles have already told some permanent contract teachers they dont have a job next year. And there will be more to come.

And more next year is guaranteed, as our govt tells the school boards. No public announcements of that of course. Wehn they go public with cuts, you know there must have been an announcement today when as members we get one of those "Keeping In Touch" emails from the Premeir or the responsible minister. Some seperate spin for the latest blow to the base.

They look like they will wait until after the election to get more serious about the health care cuts they keep saying are coming.

And absolutely nothing except pretty words, no studies, no nothing, about making savings by delivering health care different. Just across the board cuts.

1springgarden

KenS wrote:

You still have not addressed squaring all of that with making tax cuts while we are in a years long process of deep cuts to essential services. You just keep re-offering the Chicago School 'grow the pie' BS that has sold us down the drain across the Continent!

Its ALL and only about making sure we get anothe rmajority- no 'grow the pie'. I agree with you that people believe that it is the path to having jobs. Its so good a line that even you buy it even as you know something doesnt quite smell right about this.

If you say today's budget 0.5% business tax cut and proposed HST cuts are all about winning the next election, then I would have to say that makes sense.  The NDP has been tagged with the 'party of high taxes' criticism by the opposition since they were elected 3 years ago.  In fact, Dexter did break his "no new taxes" election promise three years ago to raise the HST by 2%, even though we both know it was done to close a structural deficit left by the PCs.

When I say 'grow the pie', I mean grow available economic activity to grow tax revenues. Hopefully to fund Social policies not tax cuts.  Is that still "Chicago School BS"?  I guess if the NDP are actually cutting taxes then it is.

As for deep cuts to essential services, maybe it's more acute in rural areas, but in Halifax in healthcare, frontline services are not being touched and the focus is on elimination of administrative/support service duplication - my understanding is that upper management is being targeted as duplication and the word has gone out from the the minister's office that unionized employees are not to be cut and contracting out will not be done to achieve savings.  Although there is a hiring freeze.

I've seen worse from both the Liberals and Tories.

Gaian

You chaps are surely talking about two different provinces?

Anyway, for now, there'll be no goin' down the road for workers ...just a part of the beer industry as sales of Nova Scotia's finest, Alexander Keiths, have increased to the point of requiring a new bottling plant in central Canada. Now, we environmentally-minded can take comfort that the product we consume is closer to the 100-mile limit.

KenS

Actually you have not seen worse from the Liberals and Tories.

Granted, the situation requires more than anything they faced. But you have not seen worse.

And 'your understaning' of the cuts is obviously based entirely on press releases- which is generally the only kind of deatil the MSM is going into so far. And its not IF they are cutting taxes. They ARE.

The cuts so far are pretty modest- althoug those are still while we are cutting our way out of deficits. And they have said in big black and white letters, when there are surpluses we WILL cut the HST. They have promised it in bold letters. Plus hinted at some more tweaking of income tax cuts.

What do you mean IF they actually are going to cut taxes? How much clearer do thay have to make it?

KenS

1springgarden wrote:

If you say today's budget 0.5% business tax cut and proposed HST cuts are all about winning the next election, then I would have to say that makes sense.  The NDP has been tagged with the 'party of high taxes' criticism by the opposition since they were elected 3 years ago.  In fact, Dexter did break his "no new taxes" election promise three years ago to raise the HST by 2%, even though we both know it was done to close a structural deficit left by the PCs.

Nobody needs to preach to me about the need to win elections, and specifically the need to break the mantra about the NDP in taxes.

But its broken here. That is no reason to be complacent. But it is reason to put limits on how far bending backwards we should go. WHEN is there something more to governing? Couldn't be the first madate. OK. Now we've locked into no fiscal capacity at least through most of the second mandate. .... ?

The NDP was decisively forgiven for breaking that promise. We are regularly lauded by everyone in the MSM for good management. No one except the hapless opposition who even the MSM ignores for saying it is reminding people of that.

We dont need to go back there.

And you cant even call this an abundance of caution.

They are making a very clear choice of who they want to be. And we've been going down this road since before we were government.

KenS

From another thread:

Gaian wrote:

But don't forget the appeal of lower taxes to Mainstreet. From Reagan to Bush, from Harris to Chretien to Harper. Formidable.

Obviously powerful and intoxicating.

Assumed to be formidable.

More to the point: clearly many think there is no real alternative to joining the Chicago School parade.

 

Fidel

1springgarden wrote:

When I say 'grow the pie', I mean grow available economic activity to grow tax revenues. Hopefully to fund Social policies not tax cuts.  Is that still "Chicago School BS"?  I guess if the NDP are actually cutting taxes then it is.

Why doesn't Dexter's NDP just raise corporate taxes and prove they are not all Dalton McGuinty clones?

Gaian

Can't imagine anyone joining the Chicago School parade with a Mainstreet so informed and on its collective toes.

Gaian

But when this thread gets back to Tom Mulcair, perhaps we'll bwe able to winnow something from the columns of the MSM and find out what he is up to.

But then again, given the propensity of the MSM to NOT carry NDP news, we'll perhaps have to settle for news from the east coast, aimed at that new right-wing leader and Mulcair promoter, the bluenose premier.

Fidel

I think it must be that Dexter was taken aboard a spaceship and has had an alien mind transplant. He's being controlled by the ghost of Milton Friedman. It's the only possible explanation.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. Dexter should consider amassing provincial debt proportional to that of Pinocchio's Ontario. It's working really well as far as everyone can tell.

Brachina

The liberals are getting pissed off because the NDP is refusing to share any of the question period time with them and some lib bloggers are accusing Mulcair of being a bully. Would you guys say that's fair assessment or does Mulcair have the right to do this or is this ruthlessness simple what the NDP membership expects of Mulcair, or is it simply a defensive move to nullify the liberal msm advantage they have over the NDP and to silence the msm love affair with Bob Ray or is it a plan by Mulcair to steal liberal support by rendering them irrelivent to the national discussion?

KenS

Well, I dont know a thing about the basis of facts to this.

But if it was open to the NDP to squeeze the Liberals to the side a bit more- Cool.

Like you said, the MSM drips and bleeds for them. Its going to take a while to break them of that habit.

1springgarden

2x

1springgarden

Gaian wrote:
But when this thread gets back to Tom Mulcair, perhaps we'll bwe able to winnow something from the columns of the MSM and find out what he is up to. But then again, given the propensity of the MSM to NOT carry NDP news, we'll perhaps have to settle for news from the east coast, aimed at that new right-wing leader and Mulcair promoter, the bluenose premier.

Okay, but it's illustrative that a NDP government would first have to grapple with deficits, then run an industrial policy that keeps Canadians working and eventually be able to fund expanded social policy.  Let's hope tax cutting will not be part of the federal mix following Steve "Starve the Beast" Harper.  Tax increases?  Using the Bank of Canada to underwrite 0% deficits?  Hard to say what policy choices Mulcair will have.  Looking at NS NDP et al can be illustrative.

KenS

When the NDP might first come to power in Canada, it will be at a different point on the government fiscal capability curve than was the NDP when it came to power in Nova Scotia.

Because of "Starve the Beast" Harper, "only" eschewing tax increases will be the equivalent to Dexter committing us to tax cuts in 2014, 2015 and beyond.

And remember, we started down this road to where we are now in Nova Scotia by "only" promising no tax increases. And we were talking that internally long before 2009.... a less public version of what we just had during the leadership race.

KenS

It isnt going to be very long at all before Mulcair is faced with the choices of beginning to shape his answer to this general overarching tax question.

Because Cullen and Topp put tax increase out ther prominantly, its going to be put back at us big time. No huury, but soon, and not just the odd MSM article and snarky quotes from Ministers that is all Mulcair has had to face so far.

The answers we got during the race just will not fly AT ALL:

** Lets look at all these other possibilities. And most of all: close loopholes, yada-yada.

** We dont want to be putting out too much before the election.

 

He does not have to give detailed answers for some time. But the basic course has to set and offered. And there are two basic courses:

1] Despite inclinations otherwise, and especially given that Cullen and Topp's proposal forces our hand.... let's go with the assessment that this is a winner for us.

2] Defensive. And the risks of this are why there will be at least a second look at the Topp/Cullen plan.

 

If he chooses to go down the path of no income tax increases, there is no 'later' for that question. And if he does, it ends with an absolute promise to not raise taxes. Because nothing else will work. Even that is not guaranteed to be believed by the swing voters we need, but nothing else than an absolute promise even has a chance.

Gaian

With climate change haveing such effect on Atlantic weather, there might have to be a bit spent on new breakwater installations, etc, rather than tax returns. The premier as environmentalist will swing into action.

And since Newfoundlanders learned that their part of the Muskrat Falls project will cost every man,woman and child some $8,000 plus, Nova Scotia might have to anti up a larger portion. Who knows?

Gaian

Fortunately, his response to the budget: "In the long term, the continuation of these Conservative olicies will leave the greatest economic, ecological and social debt in our history in the backpacks of future generations." signals important areas of concern that don't look at all like those of the government. Looking forward to his rolling out the cap and trade structure...in lieu of tax increases.

KenS

You go ahead and look forward to it.

But as we speak, his Caucus and staff will be reminding him that we have a long standing policy, affirmed in the last two election platforms, that ALL cap and trade revenues will go to green initiatives. And the reason for that is that a.] there is a programatic need for it, and b.] it would be political suicide to talk about cap and trade revenues for general spending "instead" of having tax increases.

CanadaApple

Correct me if I'm wrong, but both Topp and Cullen were only talking about tax increases for higher income earners. But that wasn't exactly part of NDP policy either, just like Mulcair's Cap and Trade plan wasn't. And both Cullen and Topp did very well at the end of the Leadership Race, so that could signal to Mulcair that a pretty large percent of the NDP favours tax increases for people with higher incomes. So, I guess what I'm getting at here is, isn't it possible for the NDP to support tax increases in the near future, without Mulcair having really come out in support of them before?

DSloth

Yeah Mulcair never ruled anything in or out beyond the party platform on tax proposals.  It would have been difficult for Saganash or Singh to back something like the Topp plan but you'll be hard pressed to find any Mulcair clips of him explictly rejecting any candidate's particular policy plank (aside from the Cullen plan).

CanadaApple

KenS wrote:

If what you are asking is whether the NDP can now start edging towards supporting the Topp/Cullen plan, even though Mulcair didnt support it- that's easy. No blowback to that. If he had said no way, never- that would be thrown in his/our face. But he didnt.

But politicaly it's not a question of "only" tax increases for the 1%. Like Mulcair did say during the race- when people hear that, all they hear is "tax increase". [And they are next.] He wasnt making that up. That has always been the consensus about what would happen to us. But times and conditions change.

Yeah, that's what I meant.

KenS

No Leader is going to go for an idea for a defining initiative or not based on an its popularity in the party. If Mulcair were to decide to do it, pleasing those in the party who dont like him would just be icing on the cake.

If what you are asking is whether the NDP can now start edging towards supporting the Topp/Cullen plan, even though Mulcair didnt support it- that's easy. No blowback to that. If he had said no way, never- that would be thrown in his/our face. But he didnt.

But politicaly it's not a question of "only" tax increases for the 1%. Like Mulcair did say during the race- when people hear that, all they hear is "tax increase". [And I am next.] He wasnt making that up. That has always been the consensus about what would happen to us. But times and conditions change.

[ETA: Saganash never said no either. In fact, at the Halifax debate he said its worth thinking about, but maybe thats a second mandate thing. Even though he directed his questions at Topp and his plan, he did not distance himself like Mulcair did. But that distancing wont matter now if Mulcair wants to go Topp's direction.]

KenS

I'm reviving this thread of several days ago. It started out with this cautionary tale of mine about the NSNDP's practice and history before government about tax policy.

The thread died with that topic playing itself out for the moment at least, and the de facto owner of threads on the NDP reasserting the dominance of cheerleading. If the mods want they can change the thread title to "Cautionary Tale of the NS NDP."

But the depth of cuts has bearely started here. The 'mechanics' are not like the Harper cuts, where the layoff notices were already qued up and waiting for the release of the budget.

This is the NDP, so we cant be happy about cuts, and the actual dirty work of blood in the hallways is left to subordinate governing bodies of school and health boards. Health has been mostly spared, at least until after the election I guess. So its all on the education of our kids.

And as noted above, the round of deep cuts to education has not happened yet, and the discussion has been thus far out of sight for most people. Still. word has been getting around, and a lot of parents are engaged... its not just the people losing their jobs.

My wife is a school librarian and has known her job was very much at risk. And Thursday, the news came.

Not 'just' my wife's job. ALL library jobs in this largish school board, gone. Pfft.

Finito.

"Liberals, Tories same old story."

Well Nova Scotia schools were historically underfunded. But we had libraries under Liberal and Tory governments, and over the course of the Nineties under them, the chronically inadequate library funding was gradually addressed.

It took an NDP government to take us WAY back.

And its not because no one uses libararies any more. Libraries have changed with moving away from books. And a big part of the motivation for the Nineties catch up in libraries resourcing was from realizing that putting those resources into classrooms was not working. The expansion of Internet use has not changed that. You get a flavour of that in the article I'll post.

KenS

And dont somebody come back again with that simplistic excuse that "we do have a big debt here you know."

Yes we do. But if this government was not so wedded to tax cuts now- before the DEEP spending cuts are even finished, then there was sufficient discretionary funds to keep from slashing schools in a manner that is now all but permamnent.

Because if it wasnt for the devotion to the religion of tax cuts, we have surpluses in another year.

KenS

This is a good article, especially for a very small town newspaper, of how the cuts affect one school board. It's not just about the libraries- the libraray slashing is just the most dramatic piece of it.

So I highly recommend reading the whole article, not just the highlights I will quote.

Librarians vow to fight cut: Say board cut will be blow to student literacy

Quote:
Monica Nielsen, a library specialist with Northumberland Regional High School, said cutting back on library programs at a time when students need more help with literacy, not less, and on instruction in dealing with the effective use of information could have serious effects on the students' achievement.

She said school library staff are trained to select excellent resources to encourage student reading and support the curriculum, to give instruction in 21st century skills, and to collaborate with teachers.

The loss of library service is the first of many staff reductions expected to take place within the CCRSB as it struggles to meet a budget shortfall of $6.5 million. The Nova Scotia government has cut school funding across the province by three per cent this year in addition the cost of living increases each board will have to absorb. It had similar budget reductions last year.

Gary Clarke, superintendent for the board, confirmed Thursday that library staff were told their jobs would be ending after June 30.

He said libraries will still exist in schools in the region, but there won't be any librarians working in them. The board employs the equivalent of 38 full-time positions in library services. Clarke added that no libraries were closed as a result of Thursday's announcement and services would continue as usual until the end of the school year.

Nielsen said having libraries without librarians is pointless, adding that her job entails more than just "checking out books." She said library services are a valuable part of a student's learning process and a school library advocacy committee has been started to draw awareness to their role.

"Without trained professionals, they might has well stick the students in a room by themselves," she said. "We are there to support the students and the teachers as well."

[Not to mention that without librarians there, the books walk away. And the computers are or get difficult to use.]

School Board member Ron Marks accused the provincial government of turning the education clock back 20 years by demanding such cuts and warned of devastating effects on students. He said library services have proven to improve literacy in school age children, but they are the "sacrificial cows" of the system.

"Librarians increase the likelihood of students wanting to read by 20 per cent," he said. "If they are not readying, they are not learning."

Last year the government made a VERY big deal of how funding has not gone down with the reuction over time in the school age population. Every one in Nova Scotia heard that ad nauseum. And they are still trotting it out this year.

Well only one third of the cuts in permanent teachers are for the reductions in student numbers. Two thirds of the cuts have been a direct consequence of the depth of the provinces funding cuts.

And the school boards are not even finished with identifying classroom teacher cuts- those are just the cuts they were sure would have to happen. [This drip, drip process is why most people have not heard about the cuts yet. Covenient for the government, eh.]

KenS

And I'll say it again, as far as the cutionary tale for Canada's NDP goes... it all started with as the opposition and government in waiting saying that we would not raise taxes. And before that became an eve of election promise, it was "just" Dexter saying that we see no reason for going there.

KenS

A letter from a teacher in the schoolboard that I just came across.

Quote:

Hello.
My name is _______ and I am fortunate enough to be a proud teacher in the CCRSB. I am always striving and hoping for a bright future for all of my students. On March 26th I was fortunate enough to become the proud father of healthy identical twin girls. Happily, I now have two very important bright futures to work and hope for.
The futures of all of the children I care about are looking less bright since I found out about the loss of library staff in our school board. How can we not afford to put librarians in the libraries where our children learn? How can we afford not to have libraries for our children? I know some people are saying the libraries aren't cut, just the staff is. That's like saying there's still a band, we only cut the musicians. We cannot afford to cut any caring, hard-working person in our school, who works for the positive development of our children and their future. No statistics about enrollment numbers justifies cutting library staff in a whole school board.
Where are library staff going to find employment so they can support their own children and families? If you cut teachers, that's terrible, but they can substitute. People were counting on those jobs.

I was excited when the NDP were elected. Other governments have irresponsibly spent money for their political gain, risking Nova Scotia's economic future. They've essentially created debt that our children will be paying off.

Our current government isn't waiting until the future to hurt our children. They're cutting them before they even get out of elementary school. Please try to make the Premier, Department of Education, and CCRSB see that we have to be better than this.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration,

 

PS: he doesnt mention that both he and his wife's teaching positions were cut.

NorthReport

Thomas Mulcair’s wife Catherine a psychologist and political confidante

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1158289--thomas-mulc...

Lorne Nystrom, the former NDP MP from Saskatchewan who served as national co-chair of Mulcair’s leadership campaign, compared their relationship to that of former Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien and his wife Aline, who he was known to turn to for advice.

Hunky_Monkey

The perspective of the Dexter gov't...

Quote:
Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says it's "flat wrong" to say his government is cutting education, despite a 1.3 per cent overall funding cut to school boards this fiscal year.

Dexter defended the planned $13.4 million education funding cut before a business audience Wednesday in Halifax, saying it is necessary given the province's continual decline in enrolment.

After his speech to the Nova Scotia Chamber of Commerce, Dexter said the ratio of funding per student has actually increased under his government, adding that the 1.3 per cent cut is a recognition that the system must adapt to declining enrolment.

"It's disingenuous to try to pretend that demand can decline and decline and decline and you don't do anything about addressing it," Dexter said.

"It's simply the fact that the money that we're putting into delivering education to each student is increasing."

Enrolment across the province from Primary to Grade 12 is expected to drop this year by 1.7 per cent, the government said.

"We've lost 30,000 students out of our Primary to 12 system over the last 10 years. We lost another 2,500 this year and yet we have 100 more teachers than we did 10 years ago," said Dexter.

"Is this the right way to continue to fund the system? We want money to flow into the classroom to the kids to make sure that they get the kind of educational training that they need."

He said the number of people delivering the programs have to correspond with the demand.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2012/03/07/ns-dexter-edu...

KenS

I cannot speak to what convenient basis for his figures the Premeir is using.

But the line item in the budget, and the one that media uses, is $60million less for education than last year.

He's also saying that the cut to funding this year is less than last year. But the cuts last year were pretty minor, while its a massacre in staffing cuts this year. [The school boards arent allowed to have a deficit.]

Uncle John

I am not sure about income taxes or corporate taxes, but I think that raising consumption taxes lessens overall economic activity. If there is a 15% HST, that only leave 85 cents or so of each dollar to buy things with. With less money, I can buy less, which means demand is less, which means that consumer spending is less, which means GDP is less. And less jobs etc. for those providing me those goods.

Considering HST hits the poor the most, it is a wonder why an NDP government would raise the consumption tax.