Sunday, September 28, 2008
Harper "Net Jobs"... Reality Check...Part 4
Prime Minister Stephen Harper claimed again yesterday that Canada has the strongest financial position among the G7 and has created 80,000 “net new jobs” so far this year.
•“Amid instability and economic uncertainty the imperative for government is obvious. The only responsible way to address global uncertainty is to maintain a stable, certain and careful plan here at home.”
•Mr. Harper broke his promise to maintain the $3-billion contingency fund in the federal budget and reduced the federal surplus to $2.3 billion in 2008 and reduced it to only $1.3 billion in 2009 – which is only 0.5 per cent of federal government revenues. Financial institutions have dropped Canada’s real GDP growth forecast to as low as 0.7 per cent. This is far from a “responsible,” “certain and careful plan.”
•“And our budget is in surplus, we are in the strongest financial position by far of any G7 country.”
•Canada has the worst economic growth in the G7 and, Statistics Canada just reported, the worst labour productivity growth in 18 years.
•“Our unemployment rate is near its lowest level in 30 years and our economy has managed to create over 80,000 net new jobs this year.”
•According to Statistics Canada Labour Force Survey, from January to August 2008, Canada’s economy only created 40,500 “net new jobs.” In fact, in 2008, Canada has lost 11,900 full-time jobs and only created 52,400 part-time jobs. This is hardly a record to be proud of. (http://www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/080905/d080905a.htm)
•“This approach reflects our clear conviction as Conservatives that low taxes, less debt and controlled and effective spending at the national level are key to the long run success of any economy.”
•The evidence of Mr. Harper’s “controlled and effective spending” is lacking. The Conservatives committed in the 2008 budget to moderate spending federal spending growth to 3.4 per cent but the Department of Finance reported expenditure receipts swelled by 8.4 per cent in the first three months of the year.
•In 2006, the Conservatives promised to limit federal spending increase to 5.4 per cent but in fact, spending increased by 7.5 per cent.
In 2007, the Conservatives promised to limit federal spending increase to 5.6 per cent but spending actually increased by 6.9 per cent.
•Since June 2008, the Conservative government has announced $19.2 billion in pre-election spending.
And that's your reality check.