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HomeNewsGrande Prairie MP urges "fiscal prudence" for Liberal government following Budget 2024

Grande Prairie MP urges “fiscal prudence” for Liberal government following Budget 2024

Following the announcement of the Federal Government’s 2024 Budget, “widespread criticism” has spread among both Conservative and Liberal MP’s across the country.

The budget includes nearly $53 Billion in new spending across a variety of incentives including housing initiatives, student aid, and disability benefits across the country; however, according to Grande Prairie-Mackenzie MP Chris Warkentin, the budget does not come without cost of living increases for Canadians with an additional $40 Billion in deficit spending to pay off debts.

“That’s something that every Economist and every educated person around the country was hoping wouldn’t be the case because we know that the deficit spending of this government has led to higher interest rates for people across the country,” he says. “For the first time, in any memorable history, the federal government will now be spending more on their interest payments on their debt, than it spends on healthcare across the country.”

The Liberals say that plans are in place to gain some revenue back through tax hikes in a variety of means such as an increased tobacco and nicotine product tax in an effort to decrease the number of smokers and vapers in Canada while bringing in around $310 million in tax revenue for the federal government.

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Despite the tax increases to help Ottawa pay off its debt, Warkentin says the Tories are urging the current government to be “fiscally prudent” by cutting costs across the board to make life more affordable across the country.

“We’d like the government to back off, we’d like them to admit that they’re in the wrong, but clearly they’re not going to do that,” he says. “Frankly, the only option now is for us to have an election, and for Canadians to choose a different path.”

Recently, the federal government laid out the “Canada Housing Plan” which would see homes and apartments built on unused federal land such as Canada Post and National Defense properties and according to the CBC, would see 3.9 million homes built by 2031.

Despite the promises to build homes, Warkentin and his colleagues say the current “red tape” is simply preventing developers from building homes in cities across the country; however, he says efforts by the City of Grande Prairie are commendable, as the municipality has taken affordable housing plans into its own hands.

“We believe that municipalities should be incentivized to build houses, and when they do it, we believe there should be benefits to those communities,” Warkentin says. “The City of Grande Prairie is a perfect example of a city that has worked hard to reduce red tape, to reduce the hurdles so building permits can be issued and I think that cities like Grande Prairie should be rewarded for doing that.”

Warkentin adds that the Conservative opposition will continue to advocate for Carbon Tax cuts, home building in cities across the country, and a spending cap on the federal government to combat additional inflation.

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