Manitoba budget entrenches COVID economic inequities

April 7, 2021

For Immediate Release (Treaty 1, Winnipeg): This budget entrenches income inequality by not helping those worse hit economically by COVID.

“Research shows the province should target stimulus spending for those who’ve lost work instead of offering tax cuts that benefit property owners. Those renting privately will not see the property tax rebate and receive only a modest rent freeze.” says Molly McCracken, CCPA Manitoba director.

Manitoba is moving aggressively to cut education property taxes, reduced 25% this year and another 25% next year. This will remove $400 million of provincial revenue. The government had previously announced this would be over 10 years once the budget was balanced, which it was very briefly in 2020 before COVID hit and the world changed. The government has failed to shift fiscal policy sufficiently in response to the new reality of COVID.

Social infrastructure is ignored in Budget 2021. Personal Care Homes were the epicentre of COVID but the province continues to cut their funding, which has been frozen since 2008.

Existing non-profit child care centres’ funding remains frozen from 2016.

Manitoba continues to not match federal Safe Restart funding of $100 million to Manitoba municipalities, money needed to provide municipal services and support economic and social development.

At a time when young people’s unemployment rates are four times the overall rates, Manitoba students are hit with tuition increases and funding cuts to postsecondary education of $8.9 million.A tax credit for teacher supply purchases signals the province is shifting costs over to the workers themselves.

“Workers on the front line of COVID get little out of Budget 2021. There’s no action on paid sick days, little retraining dollars, and little public stimulus for economic development” says Saku Pinta, Errol Black Chair in Labour Issues.

Please contact: Molly McCracken, Manitoba director, CCPA


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