The economic update is the exercise by which the government reports on the current economic situation, thus influencing future political decisions. In a context of negotiations, it is of particular importance because it imposes, or attempts to impose, certain economic considerations on the parties at the bargaining table.
Today, the government tabled a new economic update that recognizes the impact of inflation on citizens. It indexes personal income taxes, increases last-resort assistance and releases $1.3 billion to ease the tax burden on businesses. Ironically, it does not reserve any room to manoeuvre to improve its salary offers in the current negotiations. Once again, it is the government’s employees who will have to bear the financial burden.
Yet common sense would have dictated that the government, which is also the largest employer in Québec, include a salary increase for government employees in its measures, so that they too can keep up with inflation. Since the beginning of the current negotiations, our Negotiating Committee has come up against a government that is turning a deaf ear to the legitimate demands of healthcare professionals. With today’s announcement, it missed a great opportunity to change course, to move away from traditional economic rhetoric and put forward a vision that truly values public services and the workers who provide them.