Liberal budget full of 'waste,' Alliance charges

Globe and Mail Update
Tuesday, December 11 – Online Edition, Posted at 3:09 PM EST

Finance Minister Paul Martin's budget is full of irresponsible new spending and neglects the urgent needs of Canada's military, the Canadian Alliance charged Tuesday.

In debate on the budget in the House, both Alliance Leader Stockwell Day and finance critic Jason Kenney repeated their use of the mock movie title "2001: A Waste Odyssey" as a description of the Liberal budget.

"There is not a single dollar of spending cuts in this budget," Mr. Day said. "New pet projects are being financed by spending new taxpayer's dollars."

The federal budget will see government spending rise 9.4 per cent next year. Mr. Day said that not enough money is headed for defence and that too much is earmarked for things such as increased funding for the CBC.

Mr. Martin's budget, delivered Monday, promises $629-million over six years for the Canadian Forces, although there are billions for other security measures and agencies.

Alliance defence critic Leon Benoit accused the government of abandoning the idea of having combat-ready troops. (A defence lobby group, the Conference of Defence Associations, has said that the Canadian Forces needed at least another $1-billion a year to meet its basic commitments before Sept. 11.)

Alliance transport critic James Moore slammed the government's plan to charge air travellers $12 a flight to help pay for improved aviation security. He called the fee a "huge tax grab" that will hurt an already struggling industry.

Transport Minister David Collenette accused Mr. Moore of playing "partisan politics" with airport security.

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