The Federal Budget Isn’t Fair to Nova Scotia
Tuesday March 20th 2007, 9:54 am

I guess you could say that the Federal Budget was predictable. It was a budget geared to give more to the provinces which have the highest populations, and therefore voters in the next election. I wasn’t surprised, but still a little disappointed. As I said in a recent blog about the Canadian Census, the rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. Provinces such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Saskatchewan should have at least received our share of the so called improved equalization payments. Instead it seems that our share went to Quebec. I was also disappointed that there were no tax cuts for the average taxpayer, even though tax cuts usually mean only a few more dollars in our pockets. With all the money handed out, if you don’t have children, or live in Ontario, Quebec or Alberta, there was little in the budget for you.

According to our daily newspaper, the money to be given to the provinces from this budget will be $700 million more in social transfers for Ontario and Alberta, $1.6 billion more for Quebec, and $5 million less for Nova Scotia. The federal government gave Nova Scotia a choice to either give up our offshore accord, or get $5 million less in payments from them this year. We have to make a decision which could cost Nova Scotia a lot of money if the offshore gas fields ever strike it rich. I don’t understand why Alberta can keep it’s oil wealth, but not Nova Scotia, without being penalized. Nova Scotia already pays almost the highest rate of income tax in Canada, next to Newfoundland, and based on this budget, our future income tax situation doesn’t look good. In order to pay for our health care, infrastructure, education and social programs for our population, we will have to continue to pay much higher income taxes than the rest of Canada. That doesn’t sound very equal to me.

Even though it is more expensive to live in Nova Scotia, it is still one of the best places to live in Canada. It doesn’t really help to complain, but I feel better doing it.

Anne