Here are some bits and pieces:
Budget 2009 not only fails to target the most vulnerable, but it seems to have been carefully crafted to exclude women from as much of the $64 billion in new deficit-financed spending and tax cuts as possible; women’s estimated shares of the first year’s worth ($22 bill.) are outlined in these notes:
Infrastructure spending: $8 billion per year, next two years
• No gender equity requirements have been included in these spending programs
• Very little of this spending will go to women because men dominate the ownership, labour force, and training programs associated with all aspects of the construction industry:
– Only 7% of construction workers are women
– Only 7% of those in the trades and transportation are women
– Only 22% of engineers are women
– Only 21% of those in primary industries are women
– Only 31% of manufacturing workers are women1
• None of this infrastructure spending will be allocated to building new childcare facilities, which are needed to enable women on the economic margins to enter paid work, or to funding the costs of running childcare facilities – even though these would also be ‘infrastructure’ spending
Corporate income tax cuts: $6.3 billion in 2009/10; $4.2 billion in 2010/11.
That's on the spending side. What about all those juicy tax cuts?
As for EI benefits:
• Women’s work is well known to be ‘precarious’ – part time, seasonal, contract, off market, no benefits, and thus not qualifying for EI
• The EI enhancements being funded in Budget 2009 will only be available to those workers who would otherwise qualify for EI; they will not bring any other workers into the EI system
• The job training being funded from this allocation is only available to those already qualifying in the EI system
• New women workers who might qualify under these enhancements are those who have been staying at home for long periods of time with their children, not women who have merely taken maternity leave and then returned to non-qualifying work
• To illustrate the gender differences in EI coverage, note that nearly 3 times as many men qualified for EI during the last reporting period as did women
Oh, you say, but what about that child tax benefit (which goes only to those with children, I might add)?
• The result of this change is to increase at the top end of the brackets used to phase-out these two low-income benefits, adding a bit more to the after-tax income of the parents currently receiving the CCTB or NCB Supp the least
• No new money is going to parents at the low end of the income brackets used to measure qualification for these benefits, however
Know your place, ladies.
UPPITY BROAD DATE: This came in earlier today from the NDP.
OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff announced today that six of his Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal MPs have been permitted to vote in a “symbolic” protest against the budget. It has to be asked: What about the interests of the other 71 members of the Liberal caucus?
Liberal MPs Judy Sgro and Marlene Jennings have long defended women’s right to pay equity. Will they be allowed to vote against the budget?
Liberal MP Mike Savage has protested the failure of the budget to address EI concerns that are crucial in his riding – will he be allowed to vote against the budget?
The whole thing can be found by clicking the NDP link above.