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Failure to address child care, one family says

Michelle and Adam Brotherwood reflect on what the budget means for them, and how it would affect their young family.

NAME

Michelle, 29, and Adam Brotherwood, 32.

WORK STATUS

Michelle is a clinical dietician at St. Michael’s Hospital. Adam is a social worker.

HOME LIFE

They maintain a home and are raising Rowan, 7 months.

INCOME

About $110,000 a year. Overall, the economic climate could have a positive impact on people’s habits, Adam said. “I think everyone needs to look at what they spend their money on. We’ve put a lot of big purchases on hold.” While not terribly concerned their jobs will be on the chopping block, the couple has reorganized their finances with the expectation they could be living off one salary.

BUDGET HOPES

Both felt strongly going into the budget announcement that too many tax cuts and incentives are detrimental to social programs. “The taxes we pay are important,” Michelle said, adding the government would be better off avoiding short-term boosts and use the money to reinforce programs for the long term. Both wanted to see more money for low-income housing and protection for temporary workers. They feel it is key to protect people straddling the poverty line, “because they get hit the hardest and the fastest.”

BUDGET REALITY

The family was left with concerns about the long-term stability of social services for low-income families. “I felt disappointed; my concerns around child care and health care weren’t really mentioned at all,” said Michelle.

“It just makes you wonder, five years down the road when we have to pay this off, what services are going to be cut,” Adam said. He felt there should have been more effort to make employment insurance less restrictive. Michelle added: “Also, when the government is talking infrastructure you always wonder who is getting these contracts.”

Adam said time would tell whether the money would be put to good long-term use. “A lot is follow-up and follow-through to make sure these things are effective.”

COALITION

At least this budget was an improvement on the previous one, said Adam. “Threatening to have a coalition government kind of woke them up.”


 
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