Budget is bad for locals: McKay

A local MP says he’s worried about how the new federal budget will affect his local constituents.

John McKay, Liberal MP of Scarborough Guildwood, says if he could change one thing, he would cancel the GST cuts and rein in spending habits.

According to McKay, Ontario is projected to have zero growth.

“[There are] two sections of Scarborough Guildwood, the more affluent section in the south and the less affluent section in the north. It’s a gross generalization,” McKay said. “The folks in the less affluent section, they’re the ones that will see the pink slips first.

“So I’m going to have a stream of people in here looking for jobs.”

The budget, released by Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, introduced a tax-free savings plan along with GST cuts. This savings plan is meant to encourage Canadians to save more.

“The savings rate for Canadians right now is zero. It might even be negative,” McKay said. “Canadians don’t save much, they just don’t do it.

“So if you were serious about this, you would make it a very effective plan.”

But although he said he agrees Canadians should be encouraged to save, he said the budget does not make any sense.

“If they really thought that Canadians don’t save enough, which I think is true, then don’t cut down GST by a point and put it over onto the savings side so that those Canadians who want to save can save,” McKay said.

The savings plan would be useful to people with good incomes.

McKay said it would be beneficial to someone from the upper end of the income scale but “it’s utterly a waste of money” for everyone else.

Speaking on behalf of the Liberal party, McKay said they believe Flaherty is playing with the nation’s finances. They will not be surprised, but rather depressed, that the nation will be in debt this time next year.

“I am deeply concerned with how it’ll affect the people of Scarborough,” McKay said. “I don’t see this working for our folks at all, whether they’re affluent or whether they’re not, that will be a concern.”

Although McKay criticized the budget, he could agree with two initiatives: national securities regulators and public private partnerships. But he still said financial integrity is very important and the Conservatives “botched” the budget.

“Making the budget is not fairly different than you running your household or business or anything of that nature,” McKay said. “You can’t walk away from your revenues and carry on spending like Paris Hilton.

“And that’s exactly what we’re doing and it’s depressing because it’s so blindingly obvious that we’re headed for a deficit.”