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AltAusterity Digest #19 October 19-25, 2017

This week in Austerity News:

Oct 27, 2017

Due to higher-than-expected economic growth, Canada’s deficit for the fiscal year is expected to be at $19.9 billion, as opposed to the projected $28.5 billion. Rather than using increased revenues for reducing the deficit, the Liberals plan to invest $8 billion in new program spending over the next five years. Two targeted areas of spending expansion will be the Canada child benefit program and the working income tax benefit.

For the first time since the financial crash in 2008-09, British public-sector workers’ pay has dropped below their counterparts in the private sector. This data follows Chancellor Hammond’s claim in a July cabinet meeting that public sector workers are overpaid. While most public-sector workers – with the exception of police and prison guard – still have a 1% wage increase cap, inflation hit 3% last week, meaning an even more severe decline in purchasing power.

In an opinion piece by Santiago Zabala, the author explains why the crisis in Catalonia is not just about nationalism. Zabala highlights how austerity policies of international creditors, supranational bodies, and most importantly the Spanish government itself have created a climate of distrust and backlash. However, the responses to “liberal reforms” are indeterminate as the differing outcomes of cases such as Syriza in Greece, Brexit in the UK and civic nationalisms in Scotland and Catalonia have shown.

Newly elected president Mauricio Macri of Argentina says his government will push forward rapidly with controversial labor, tax and pension reforms. This message is intended to reassure investors concerned about the “difficulty of doing business” in Argentina. The markets have responded accordingly as billions of dollars in debt were bought up, Argentine stocks rose, and the peso strengthened.

That's it for this week's Digest! Check back next Friday morning for another edition, or subscribe to our newsletter for a weekly roundup. We'll also Tweet each time we add new content, so you can keep up with our work @AltAusterity and join the #altausterity conversation!