As part of the Manitoba Modern Economics, Technology and the Environment project, I have come out with a 2010 budget wish list for the provincial budget. The budget, which comes out March 23, 2010, faces one of the greatest challenges in a while. For the first time in recent memory, Manitoba forecasts a deficit, in the range of $555 million. One can account that their were many problems that happened in 2009, namely the H1N1 flu, 2009 spring flood, and the global economic crisis. These three events cost the province $146 million. Add to that Manitoba Hydro’s revenue declined by $136 million, and Manitoba is in the red.
Despite the deficit, Manitoba has many challenges ahead. This includes, poverty reduction, building an environmentally sustainable province, and a very high-tech economy with new exciting high-tech industries that can compete with the rest of the world.
In Manitoba Budget 2010: Recommendations to the Province of Manitoba, I have laid out what the province can do in tough times, to decrease the deficit, fighting poverty, and developing a high-tech sustainable province.
– Increasing the higher income tax bracket in 2011 for a temporary measure, along with creating a sur tax for the highest income earners until 2013.
– Decreases the lower-income tax bracket.
– Claw back MLA salaries and pensions by 5%
– Freeze public service sector employees salaries for two years.
– Creation of the social entrepreneurship tax credit to encourage social entrepreneurship.
– New credit for worker owned and micro businesses.
– Environmental community entrepreneurship tax credit of 5% for local green enterprises.
– Start a round table discussion for a carbon tax within the Province for 2012.
– Increase green technology research & development by 5% and 10% if a carbon tax system is in place by 2012.
– Creating a green jobs training program.
– Allowing consumer co-operatives and small-scale private businesses to offer alternative energy.
– Expand the Interactive media tax credit’s maximum 40% limit from $500,000 to $1,000,000.
Even if the province implemented some of these ideas, the province would be well on its way to reducing the deficit, while efficiently using their resources to work on the things society cares about, which are eliminating poverty, a clean environment and new job creation.
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