FIQ (Fédération Interprofessionnelle de la santé du Québec)

2018-2019 Budget: the art of seduction

The Liberal government’s last pre-election budget was a clever game of seduction to woo an electoral segment that excluded voters who work in the health network. All the same, a careful reading of the measures reveals that some of them reflect values that this government has been promoting for nearly four years. Indeed, the government has repeatedly shown a desire to privatize previously public services. The budget tabled this week includes an increase in childcare expenses that are eligible for a tax credit. The tax credit encourages people to use private childcare services whereas there are no measures to support public childcare services. For some families, it will be cheaper to use private childcare services than public day cares. This is troubling.

What’s more, the FIQ shakes its head at the government’s feeble attempts at cracking down on tax havens. By refusing to tackle this issue head on, the government is willingly opting out of revenue that could be put toward activities in other government-funded areas, such as the health network. We were expecting our elected officials to show a little more determination.

As for environmental issues, the FIQ would like to tip its hat to measures encouraging the development of public transportation across Quebec. Nonetheless, the Liberal government’s continued support for fossil fuels seems questionable, even more so after Quebec recognized last week that it is unable to meet its own commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The government’s efforts to extend the natural gas network (Énergir) across Quebec are steps in the wrong direction.