The Liberals and Bloc have indicated they will vote against the budget. For the Liberals it would be the first time they have done this since Harper was elected. The Bloc will of course hold their fire as they await news that a deal has been reached with the Quebec Government to compensate them for the conversion costs associated with the HST. Quebec did not get the same money as Ontario or BC when they combined the provincial sales tax with the GST.
That leaves the NDP. Jack Layton, leader of the NDP has put a few things on the table. If the government meets the goals set by the NDP they would vote for the budget. Some of the items put forward by the NDP include, removal of the GST on home heating fuel, Increases to Seniors income (GIS) and changes to the Canada Pension plan for seniors, and the continuation and funding of the ecoHome renovation program.
Barring a self detonating bomb in the budget and Harper meets Layton's requests, we may see the NDP support Harper on the budget. There is of course lots of room for Layton to dismiss any efforts by the Harper Govt on these issues as being too little and or the big deal breaker of inclusion of significant corporate tax cuts. We won't know for a couple of days what will happen.
In the interim Harper and company along with the Liberals will blast the NDP until they vote one way or the other. Harper by saying he gave them much of what they asked for and Ignatieff because of all the heat he has taken from the NDP for supporting Harper.
Its a mine field in the House of Commons right now. One that will easily blow up on which ever party fails to step carefully.
update: The NDP list presented to Prime Minister Harper.
Jack Layton and the New Democrats have put forward a set of practical, affordable proposals – all focused on taking pressure off your family budget:
- Take the federal sales tax off skyrocketing home heating bills and restore the EcoEnergy Retrofit program.
- Increase the Guaranteed Income Supplement for our most vulnerable seniors.
- Strengthen the Canada Pension Plan we all rely on.
- Hire more doctors and nurses across Canada.