Federal budget won’t shorten health care wait times: NUPGE

OTTAWA, ON, April 16, 2024 /CNW/ – Budget 2024 is a disappointment for members of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) and other Canadians who are worried about the condition of our public health care system.The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is national organization representing 425,000 workers. We are the national voice of 13 Component unions whose members deliver services of every kind to the citizens of their home provinces. (CNW Group/National Union of Public and General Employees)NUPGE which represents over 425,000 workers, more than a third of them in health care, has argued that what is needed are increases in the Canada Health Transfer to bring it closer to covering 35% of provincial/territorial health costs, and making those funding increases conditional on adhering to the Canada Health Act. The union also wants the federal government to urgently bring provinces and territories together to develop a national health human resources strategy.”Budget 2024 doesn’t even start to do the foundational work needed to fix our health care system,” said Bert Blundon, President of NUPGE. “Instead, there are small scale measures and a rehashing of previous announcements, such as the funding announced in 2023 that are positive but below what is required.”In discussing steps forward, Blundon said what our health system needs is a comprehensive plan, based on data for areas where we have shortages in the system, and a focus on retention, and on respecting the Canada Health Act. “What Budget 2024 delivered was a couple of Band-Aids, and we’re way passed that stage, both for NUPGE members working in the health care system, and for the public struggling to find the health care they and their family need.” The union welcomed funding to help launch pharmacare but indicated that it falls far short of what is needed. NUPGE will be watching closely and continue to push to make sure the program receives the funding it needs to meet the needs of Canadians.On the tax front, Blundon said he welcomes the increase in the inclusion rate for capital gains above $250,000 a year in Budget 2024 as “a first significant step this government has taken toward making the tax system fairer.” Currently capital gains income is taxed at only 1/2 the rate of earned income. Budget 2024 would increase this to 2/3 of the rate for capital gains of over $250,000 a year, a measure that will only affect the wealthiest 0.13% of Canadians.NUPGE’s view is that the changes to capital gains in Budget 2024 are still only a small step compared to what the federal government could be doing. “If the federal government had implemented the proposal from Canadians for Tax Fairness to tax capital gains at 75% of the rate of earned income, the increase in revenue would be more than double the projected revenue from changes to capital gains in Budget 2024,” Blundon said. “So, this is a step forward, but when health care and other public services are under-funded, we can no longer afford to tax capital gains at a lower rate than earned income.”Story continuesThe union will be looking closely at the proposals in Budget 2024 to increase pension plan investment in Canada, and assessing what this means for workers and all Canadians.SOURCE National Union of Public and General EmployeesCisionView original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/April2024/16/c0599.html


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