Wiping out our Gains
Publisher: Canadian News Synthesis Project and GATT-Fly, Canada
Year Published: 1977
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX420
Abstract: This pamphlet deals with the harmful effects on people of social service cutbacks by the Ontario Government. Since 1975, the Tory government has been trying to balance its budget to fight inflation. But the victim of this war on inflation has been the working class. The government chose to balance the budget by cutting spending on both medical and such non-medical services as welfare, daycare, rehabilitation for the aged, and family counselling. Also, the government has cut the number of employees in these areas, further reducing services.
The pamphlet analyses the reason why the government chose this method of balancing the budget. It did so at the bidding of the corporations. Inflation is the main enemy of the corporations since it cuts into their profits. Businessmen saw government spending as inflationary, so they called for cutbacks and a "return to free enterprise" as a way to economic growth. However, the "free enterprise" ideology does not help ordinary people. With inflation rising the government is cutting back to let the corporations protect their profits. But business isn't using these profits to create more jobs. In fact, unemployment is rising. Thus, social programmes are sacrificed for nothing since the corporations refuse to invest.
The social programmes being cut back are not frills or luxuries. They are part of the social wage that our society should give to all citizens. Workers had to fight for these programmes, yet the government starts its budget "trimming" with these services.
The corporations, on the other hand, do not pay their way. The government could increase its revenues by raising corporate taxes but is afraid the corporations will move their operations elsewhere. The pamphlet calls for tax reform to make the corporations pay their share. CNSP and GATT-Fly point to some victories won by people fighting cutbacks. They say this shows the way for all of us to get together and fight for real control of the wealth our work creates.