Nova Scotia Federation of Labour calls on the provincial government to invest in workers and their families in the 2023/24 Budget

March 23, 2023

Nova Scotia Federation of Labour calls on the provincial government to invest in workers and their families in the 2023/24 Budget. High inflation is eating away at workers’ hard-earned money, price increases are worsening the affordability crisis, and our care system is crumbling.

The cost of day-to-day necessities means workers and their families continue to struggle. Workers want the government to restore balance in our economy and put workers first.

Food prices show no signs of slowing down while grocery giants report super-sized profits. We need this government to tackle excess profits by raising taxes on the wealthiest and most profitable corporations and closing tax loopholes that benefit the rich.

Crushing workloads and excessive overtime are causing burnout, forcing public sector workers and others to leave their professions, and causing critical shortages. We hope to see some sizable investments in budget 2023-24 to tackle wage increases in the workforce and the recruitment and retention issues across the board.

Chronic understaffing has left many public sector workers overwhelmed, exhausted, and overworked. It’s a far broader issue for many sectors outside of health care.

We must see more on mental health and addiction treatment services to improve access and quality of care. We must keep out the American-style, for-profit clinics and stop the privatization creep that will drain resources from our public health care system.

Our government must invest in affordable housing to address the province’s housing crisis. We are calling on the government to put in place ambitious and direct funding for the construction of new, non-market, affordable public housing. This should include  social housing and co-ops for all, including Indigenous peoples, survivors of domestic violence, and people living with disabilities and particularly for marginalized groups.

The province must show leadership in implementing a living wage for all Nova Scotia workers to reduce poverty, improve economic security, and increase access to early childhood education by expanding access to early childhood education programs to support children’s development and provide affordable childcare options for families.

We need to see investment in renewable energy development to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs in the clean energy sector. Rising sea levels must be more of a priority. The budget must also increase support for low-income families, such as the Nova Scotia Child Benefit, to support low-income families and reduce child poverty.

Our government needs to implement policies prioritizing social and economic justice to promote environmental sustainability and greater economic equality and reduce poverty by providing more support for workers and their families and the well-being of Nova Scotia’s residents.

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