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Younger generations and so many others have been hit hard by the impacts of the coronavirus. In the midst of multiple lockdowns, we’ve had to find ways to pay for housing and other major costs without enough income. We’ve been forced to juggle caring for kids and doing our jobs. We’ve watched jobs evaporate as tuition fees rise.
These struggles are so intense because of how close to the edge people were before the pandemic. Governments need to confront the ongoing squeeze facing younger and other people if they truly want to protect and help us recover from the economic and health crises we’ve become so vulnerable to.
Budget 2021 is the federal government’s chance to invest in a recovery that helps everyone who needs it, in ways that also lift up younger generations for the long term. Gen Squeeze has six recommendations to guide the budget’s design, supported by specific sub-recommendations.
6 Recommendations for Funding a Fairer Future
Recommendation #1: Make an explicit commitment to pursuing the goal that all Canadians can afford a home that meets their needs by 2030, either as a renter or owner, backed by a comprehensive plan for achieving this goal.
Recommendation #2: Use the 2021 budget to scale climate solutions, while driving a green recovery to the pandemic, through major investments in renewable energy, home and building retrofits, public transit and job training.
Recommendation #3: Support a thriving workforce and promote gender equality with a commitment to universal child care, which includes allocating $2 billion to child care in 2021-22.
Recommendation #4: Help drive economic recovery, a more equitable distribution of wealth and much-needed investments in social programs by exploring ways to reduce income tax for middle earners and eliminate tax breaks for the wealthy, including those with considerable housing wealth.
Recommendation #5: Redesign Canada’s federal fiscal and economic policy framework to focus on well-being instead of GDP, prioritizing investment in the different social determinants that foster health and well-being.
Recommendation #6: Improve and deliver annual reporting on age trends in public finance to better assess the fairness and adequacy of new investments in those under the age of 45 by comparison with growth in Old Age Security, as well as the growth of government debt.
Want to learn more about these recommendations? Read Gen Squeeze’s submission to the federal government on the 2021 budget.