OTTAWA – With family budgets stretched thin, now is not the time to raise interest rates or cut vital government investments in things like affordable housing, child care and bringing down the cost of medicine, according to Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress.
“Conservatives keep pushing the same playbook, time and time again. You can’t solve today’s crisis with policy from the inflation struggles of the 1990’s,” said Bruske. “Rate hikes, austerity policies and government cuts to services families rely on is not going to solve supply chain disruptions or the aftereffects of the pandemic economic slowdown.”
Higher interest rates and lower investment in people won’t help lower energy prices or bring down the costs of groceries, two of the biggest drivers of today’s inflation numbers.
“Conservative economists and right-wing columnists are suffering from magical thinking,” said Bruske. “You can’t keep a steady drumbeat of tightening credit and cutting help for people without slowing an already uneven recovery, generating insolvencies, and above all, raising workers’ level of insecurity.”
Immediate relief for families can be achieved through quick action on affordable housing, child care and pharmacare to bring drug costs down.
“On a day when Loblaws beat expectations and reported even higher profits it baffles me why Canada is still dragging its heels on a wealth tax to make pandemic profiteers pay their fair share,” concluded Bruske. “Now more than ever we need a strong social safety net and investments in the programs so many Canadians depend on, including universal child care, pharmacare, affordable housing and job-training programs to help workers transition to low-carbon and green jobs.”
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