Constituents of this riding are very clear on what they expect in the upcoming federal budget when it is tabled on March 19 – lower taxes and debt reduction, strengthened support for the energy sector, and lower prices on everything from gas to groceries, all impacted by taxes. This clear consensus is highlighted in the results of a recent survey my office circulated to both riding residents and businesses.
Responding to a question on what should the government’s top priority be, 32 percent indicated reduce deficits and debt in order to lessen future taxes, while another 18 percent said the focus should be on strengthening the energy sector.
From the business perspective 25 percent identified high taxes as hindering growth and success, while 63 percent said government changes to small business taxes has either directly or indirectly negatively impacted their business. Fifty percent also indicated the impending carbon tax will have a direct negative impact on their operations.
In identifying what would make life easier for families, 80 percent of respondents indicated lower government taxes from all levels – federal, provincial and municipal, as the combination is negatively impacting household finances. A combined 97 percent suggest lower fuel and food costs, increased by the carbon tax, would ease their money burdens.
While 49 percent divulged they are still able pay their bills, they also have less money remaining once expenses are covered. This compares to 38 percent who are either struggling to meet or falling behind on bills and going into debt. These figures speak loudly that taxes and debt are curtailing Canadians ability to get ahead.
Respondents were very clear on which economic sector the government should focus its support to enhance long-term growth and jobs. An overwhelming 65 percent indicated energy, small business at 10 percent, and agriculture at 6.5 percent, with green and renewable energy in fourth place at 3.5 percent.
Last week’s announcement by the National Energy Board endorsing the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline, while positive, does not get us anywhere closer to getting the pipeline built. All it does is put the decision back in the hands of the same Liberal cabinet that failed to start construction in the first place.
October’s federal election offers Canadians the opportunity to elect a Conservative government focused on putting them first. Our key mandate is on lowering taxes and returning to a balanced budget so future generations are not burdened with debt and taxes from the bad decisions of the current government. Scrapping the carbon tax, cutting red tape for businesses and supporting Canada’s energy sector – the economic driver of this country, are critical foundations of our platform.
The results of our survey clearly indicate that a Conservative government is on the same page as the constituents of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner. What we will do coincides with what people expressively have indicated they want.