Federal Budget 2023 Fails to Address Cost-of-Living Crisis

April 14, 2023

Leslyn Lewis, Member of Parliament for Haldimand-Norfolk

I have often heard from the people of Haldimand-Norfolk about how life in our rural communities is becoming unaffordable – that they are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of living, from mortgage and rent payments, to gas and home heating, to basic groceries for their families.

For the first time, food banks across the country can’t keep up with increasing demand. Just recently the Daily Bread Food Bank reported the highest number of visits in the charity’s 40-year history, saying they are at a “breaking point.”

Canada is experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years and financial experts have agreed that out-of-control government spending is a direct cause of the inflation we are experiencing. Over the last 8 years, Canada’s national debt has been doubled by the current Prime Minister, adding more than all previous Prime Ministers in the history of Canada combined. As a result, the average Haldimand-Norfolk household is now on the hook for $81,000 in federal debt.Government spending will also soon be double what it used be under the previous Conservative government just 8 years ago.

But what have Canadians received in return for a doubling of their national debt and government spending? Certainly not twice as much prosperity, but smaller pay cheques, a taxed health care system, increasing violent crime, failing transport and supply chains, and the most expensive homes in Canadian history.

With these struggles in mind, it is pure arrogance that the federal budget announced a $40 billion deficit and $63 billion in gross new spending at a cost of $4,300 per year per Canadian family. Not only that, but this government has refused to provide relief for Canadians by cutting the inflationary carbon tax, which continues to raise the price at the pump and the costs for our farmers to produce. This, in turn, is driving up food prices for all Canadians.

It is painful to think about the debt that we are leaving for future generations. The interest on our national debt will rise to $50 billion this year, which is more than we spend on our military, on childcare benefits or on education and social services. Billions of your hard-earned tax dollars will go to the wealthiest bondholders, and not to help everyday Canadians with rising costs.

Make no mistake – this is not a sensible budget. No prudent household in Canada would manage their finances in this reckless way, and neither should government.

Regardless of the promises the Liberals make to Canadians in this budget, the reality is that this government is, in the long-term, impoverishing our nation and saddling future generations with trillions of debt that they may never be able to repay. In the short and medium-term, residents of Haldimand-Norfolk will be faced with higher taxes, further inflationary pressures, less take-home pay and lower standards of living.

Canadians deserve much better than a government that has forgotten who they serve. It’s time for a return to economic freedom so that Canadians can do what they have always done best – word hard, raise their families, achieve their dreams, and build this great country.