The 2024 federal budget will pass with NDP support
The 2024 federal budget will pass with NDP support

After weeks of speculation, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh announced that his party would support this year’s budget despite raising outstanding concerns.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland unveiled the Liberals’ 2024 budget on Apr. 16. The budget proposed $111.2 billion in new spending over the next five years, a $40 billion deficit and no plans to balance the budget.

Singh held his tongue until Wednesday, when the bill is up for its first vote, to say that his party would support it when speaking with reporters at Parliament Hill. A lack of NDP support could trigger a vote of non-confidence for the minority Liberal government. 

“New Democrats fought for some concrete wins in this budget. They’re going to make life better for people,” said Singh.

The wins, categorized by Singh, were nutrition programs in schools, free birth control, free diabetes medication and devices, and a protection fund for renters.

However, the New Democrat leader raised some existing concerns that have yet to be addressed by the Liberals. 

“I made it very clear to the Prime Minister that I expect the Prime Minister and the Liberal government to fix these problems,” said Singh.

The first problem raised by Singh was related to disability benefits. He feels the amount is not high enough, not enough people will receive the benefit, and the clawbacks will result in recipients not receiving a dime after the provinces clawback the amount. 

“If they’re worse off because of this benefit, that is an abject failure,” said Singh.

He also raised concerns about “a massive gap in funding for Indigenous communities when it comes to housing and infrastructure.”

The NDP leader said that this funding gap is resulting in First Nations living in overcrowded homes with mould and substandard conditions. 

He added that the federal government fails to meet the standards set in 70% of the cases for the Jordan’s Principle — which aims to ensure all First Nations children in Canada have timely access to the products, services, and support they need.

Despite the issues raised, Singh confirmed that he would support the budget.

“The Prime Minister showed an openness to resolve these concerns. We are going to make sure we hold the government to account over the next weeks to make sure that these matters are addressed, and these matters are resolved,” he added. 

The NDP’s support is part of a confidence-and-supply agreement with the Liberals, under which the NDP agrees to back the government in key votes, such as the budget, in exchange for the Liberals’ consideration and action on some NDP policy priorities.

The other opposition parties said they would oppose the budget and vote against it.

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