Restraining the Economy
Social Credit Economic Policies for BC in the Eighties

Allen, Robert C. & Rosenbluth, Gideon BC Economic Policy Institute
Publisher:  New Star Books, Vancouver, Canada
Year Published:  1986
Pages:  320pp   ISBN:  ISBN 0-919573-61-4
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3280

B.C.'s era of "restraint" officially began on July 7, 1983, when the Social Credit government introduced a budget and series of bills which led to massive cutbacks in education and social services, while business received additional tax breaks. This series of papers on the B.C. economy by the B.C. Economic Policy Institute make the case that restraint policies have in fact aggravated the economic conditions they were supposed alleviate. The Institute believes that "economic development can be achieved without sacrificing our natural environment or the health and safety of the workplace; inequality and poverty should be reduced substantially; the well-being of consumers, minorities, tenants, women, and workers must be promoted; the province's Canadian and international trade can usefully be expanded without harming ourselves or our trading partners; health and social services, income security programs, and public education must be strengthened; productive employment should be available to anyone wanting to work." The essays flesh out these contentions in some detail. Among the topics covered are: government deficits; restraints on health care; trade unions and the economy; and megaprojects. It is argued that by cutting spending and employment in a time of recession, the B.C. government has made the recession more severe and prolonged, increased unemployment, and contributed to business bankruptcies. B.C. residents, especially those less well off, have suffered because of reductions in services, increased unemployment, and cutbacks in legal aid and human rights protection.
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