Greens: Look Down Under to Get Over Double-Dip Recession Risk
Ottawa - The Green Party of Canada is calling on Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to explore the innovative Australian economic stimulus packages of 2008 and 2009 that helped that country - alone among Western nations - avoid a technical recession (Canada's GDP dropped 3.6%). The two Australian programs had an emphasis on giving a stimulus directly to low and medium income families to boost economic activity and jobs.
“The Conservatives need to look to Australia for economic policy innovation rather than constantly spinning on how Canada is in better economic shape than the U.S. and many European countries,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May adding "We need to be comparing ourselves to the best economic practices and not poor ones" .
“We propose a Canadian ‘Investment In People’ Stimulus Plan, modelled on what the Australian government put in place" said Eric Walton, Green International Affairs Critic. “Targeted people-oriented stimulus spending could help - along with other measures - to reduce the risk of Canadian unemployment rates from further escalating.”
“If we do not quickly succeed in stabilizing the Canadian employment situation before it further deteriorates, then we risk beginning a downward economic spiral of declining government revenues in tandem with increasing E.I. and other social service costs. The budgetary impact of this will be much higher deficits over a greater number of years and consequently will end up costing us much more than a one-time strategic stimulus in people and accelerated job creation” said Walton.
The support of Green Party Senators popularly elected to the Australian Parliament proved essential to the successful passage of the 2009 Australian Economic Stimulus Package into law.
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