NDP Recommends Return of Retrofit Tax Credit in New Budget

The Opposition NDP Caucus has officially revealed its proposed priorities for the upcoming federal budget set to be tabled next week, which includes demand for tax credits to boost hiring and home renovations, limits on ATM fees and an approach that puts economic growth ahead of balanced books. Given the governing Conservatives have a complete majority in Parliament, they do not require any support from the opposition MPs in order to pass Tuesday’s 2014 budget into law. Regardless of that, the NDP held a press conference on Wednesday morning to unveil its proposals.

NDP finance critic, Peggy Nash, reiterated his party’s recommendation to Ottawa of reinstating the ecoENERGY Retrofit program, i.e. a popular program that was enforced from 2007 until 2012. Given that this demand comes with an estimated price tag of between $250-million and $300-million in lost tax revenue, it is the most expensive of the NDP’s requests. Nash argued that the NDP does not believes in an approach to a “do nothing” budget that embraces a political target to remove the deficit in time for the 2015 election ahead of measures to promote economic growth and jobs.

During the press conference, Ms. Nash stated that “if you rush too quickly to balance the books through austerity measures, you risk slowing the economy, maintaining or increasing higher unemployment and you delay in fact a return to the normal growth cycle of the economy.” He added that “we believe that the government’s not taking a balanced approach right now.”

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