It is always interesting that the political pundits always go to premiers of the provinces for their reaction to the budget.
The premiers’ reaction is predictable. They look at what the other guy received and then begin a regional whining chant.
I want to know what grass root Canadians think. Many of the 2007, 2008 budget announcements really concern them but have received little attention from the critics.
The budget showed the compassion of our government to help people in need. The support in the budget for the formation of a Canadian Mental Health Commission and the recommended appointment of former Senator Kirby to chair that commission will go a long way in implementing the Senate report tabled in 2006, Out of the Shadows. This report has 118 recommendations to support those with mental health issues.
Mental health issues are the root cause of many homeless people. They have a difficult time holding jobs, integrating socially, etc. Finding ways to properly deal with mental health issues can have far-reaching implications for the homeless, the lonely, the disenfranchised.
The working income tax benefit funding is also great news. Many people on welfare that want to work find that by working they lose benefits like dental and health coverage. If they are entering the work force at an entry level wage then they can actually lose income by working.
Our budget helps those people over the “welfare wall.” Those wanting to go forward and contribute to their community will receive up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for families as a supplement to their income.
Parents with children that have disabilities always worry what will happen when they are not there to take care of their child. The budget allows for a registered disability saving plan which will bring long term financial security for persons with severe disabilities.
Also included in the budget is the creation of the enabling accessibility fund of $45 million over three years to contribute to the cost of improving physical accessibility for persons with disabilities.
The budget eliminated the capital gains tax for charitable donations from publicly-listed securities to private foundations.
By reducing the capital gains, it is hoped the donations will increase and as such the ability of these charities to do more good work. Add to these great initiatives the $6 million dollar investment per year to combat child sexual exploitation and trafficking; $10 million per year to combat elder abuse and fraud as well as expand capital assistance for community buildings, equipment and furnishing for seniors; and finally $10 million for the Status of Women directed at real action to combat violence against women.
It is easy to talk about having concern and compassion but action really tells where your heart is. The 2007- 2008 federal budget takes action to address the heart of what matters to Canadians.