“It ignores the 4.8 million Canadians who live in poverty." Photo by Prayitno photography (Flickr CC)

Budget 2015 missing the mark on climate change and poverty

What does the 2015 budget say about the priorities of our leaders?

While the federal 2015 budget is designed to provide jobs and growth for Canadians, as well as provide a $1.4 billion surplus, the Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) believes it shows a lack of focus on climate change and poverty.

“It ignores the 4.8 million Canadians who live in poverty. And with major climate negotiations coming later this year, it ignores the climate crisis that future generations will have to deal with,” says the CPJ in a release.

However, Cardus reports that the extension of the Compassionate Care Benefit is a welcome addition. Currently family members of a terminally diagnosed individual can receive six weeks of income support, the 2015 budget increases the benefit to six months.

Cardus’ Ray Pennings calls the extension “a very significant inclusion in this budget," and "a very welcome and healthy improvement… something that speaks to the importance of budgets not just about jobs, but about creating a caring and compassionate society, something we all should aspire to.”

The CPJ was also have like to see a federal plan to reduce poverty. Instead, increasing the annual contribution limit on Tax Free Savings Account from $5,500 to $10,000 helps bankers and investment firms more than those living in poverty.

Climate change was also not a focus, as the federal government largely chose to stay the course, says the CPJ.

“If Budget 2015 is any indication, the only climate of interest to the government is Canada’s investment climate.”

Read more about CPJ’s analysis of the budget here

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