Saturday, January 31, 2009

Budget anyone?

What with being occupied with other things I haven't had much time to look at the budget, but having begun what will likely be a long and arduous task, I start with Chapter 3 Action to support Businesses and Communities as this would be one of the main areas that will directly impact people and the economy and hopefully quickly.

I haven't come across a detailed analysis anywhere yet so if anyone has, kindly post it so we can give it the once over.

First item of note under Tax and Tariff relief is a 100% Capital Cost Allowance (temp) Jan 09 to Feb 2011 on computer purchases.

I'm thinking, well that was random. Why computer purchases? The government does know where most of the components for these things are made. Don't they?

Next item was another CCA related item regarding purchasing new equipment for manufacturing or processing equipment. Umm...aren't we worried about keeping the current manufacturing and processing capability active, and isn't the idea of stimulus to stimulate with all due haste?

The fourth item is based on the next 5 yrs. and again concerns purchasing new manufacturing equipment.

Next is Sectoral Competitiveness.

First and second items relate to forestry and farming, and are ok at a glance, but the amounts seem relatively insignificant, unless targeted for special interests.

Third item is 50 million to increase slaughter house capacity. Hmm...Maple leaf and Cargill? Are there any others left?

Next is amendments related to Farm Improvement and Marketing Cooperatives Loans Act and a few other things that look as if they might have some worth, but that depends entirely on whether they mean to do anything significant or are just blowing smoke.

Then on to Supporting shipyards with $175 million for the procurement of 98 new Coast Guard vessels and related items. This item would take some brushing up on, but at face value it appears to relate to helping the ship building industry get ready to bid on the above mentioned items. Worth a look into this to get the full picture. I wouldn't think the 175 million would go far in actually building 98 new vessels and refits on 40 more. I think it worth mentioning that one of the 11 Disciples owns the Saint John N.B. drydocks and ship yards. Imagine that.

Next is the auto sector short term loans and that is vague.

The following 3 items appear to have value and the funds could have reasonably quick impact, but the amounts are not large.

Next are 2 items related to magazines, newspapers and the Canada New Media Fund involving 58.6 million over the next two years and 14.3 million thereafter. That is an interesting choice. Considering reports of desperate times at the National Post and that the same Disciple I spoke of above owns very significant Newspaper holdings may shed some light here.

Skipping the Televison fund item and going on to; $40 million to the Canadian Tourism Commission. Looks ok, but not a lot of money really.

Then this; $12 million per year in 2011–12 and 2012–13 for infrastructure to promote international cruise ship tourism along the Saint Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers. Huh?? Where did that come from? The 40 million is to be sprinkled about, but this 12 million is very specific.

Lastly in that category is $150 million for such things as Park's Canada and campgrounds, as well as upgrades to National Historic sites.

Sigh........Isn't this one obvious to everyone? Spend the frikkin' money on things that grease the wheels of commerce in a fair and non partisan manner, and focus on things that actually have a real chance of generating economic activity. In Canada, our Home and Native Land, tourism goes into the tank faster than restaurants when our Southern Cousins are in trouble. So other than the jobs and er...contract moneys provided to complete these tasks and projects, where is the spin off money going to come from, and more importantly, when?

That's all I can stand for now. Next installments are Environment and Supporting Small Business.

The link for the above items is as follows;

Link to the entire budget;

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