Federal Budget Good on Tax Fairness, Lacking in Strategic Investments in Scientists and Phoenix Pay, says PIPSC

For Immediate Release

Ottawa, March 22, 2017 – The federal government announcement that it is investing $529.9 million more to crack down on tax evasion and avoidance by hiring new auditors is good news for tax fairness, but the government’s much-heralded “innovation” budget is lacking in needed, strategic investments in more science staff, says the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC). What’s more, the government continues to be slow in reducing the billions of dollars currently spent on outsourced services, and has offered no new money to resolve ongoing Phoenix Pay problems, despite union calls to do so.

“The new investments in the CRA will help make sure billionaires and corporations pay their fair share,” said PIPSC President Debi Daviau. “But after years of job and program cuts under the Harper government, at least 1,500 science jobs still need to be reinstated to maintain adequate service levels and restore important expertise.

“Reducing the approximately $12 billion annually now spent on outsourced public services would simultaneously strengthen public services and cut down on corporate profits made at taxpayers’ expense,” added Daviau. “The government earlier promised to shrink expenses on outside consultants to 2005-06 levels within 10 years. We feel this can – and should – be done within its current mandate.”

“We are of course disappointed the government has chosen not to invest further in fixing the Phoenix Pay problem once and for all,” concluded Daviau, “surely one of the darkest – and longest – chapters in mismanagement of the federal public service. The silence on Phoenix is deafening.”

PIPSC represents some 55,000 public-sector scientists and other professionals across the country, most of them employed by the federal government.

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For further information:

Johanne Fillion (613) 228-6310 ext 2303 (office) or (613) 883-4900 (cell.)