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Rush to balance books could delay Canada's economic recovery: NDP

NDP finance critic Peggy Nash holds a news conference in Ottawa, Monday March 18, 2013. The New Democrats say the governing Conservatives' rush to balance the books could delay the economic recovery from the recession. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Fred Chartrand

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NDP finance critic Peggy Nash holds a news conference in Ottawa, Monday March 18, 2013. The New Democrats say the governing Conservatives' rush to balance the books could delay the economic recovery from the recession. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA - The New Democrats say the governing Conservatives' rush to balance the books could delay the economic recovery from the recession.

NDP finance critic Peggy Nash says cuts and austerity measures risk slowing the economy and maintaining higher unemployment, or even increasing it.

She says her party wants to balance the books as quickly as possible, but not at the risk of putting the brakes on the economy.

Nash says the NDP have some inexpensive ideas for next week's budget, including reversing the controversial cuts to Veterans Affairs from the previous budget.

They also want the government to cap ATM and credit card fees, saying consumers shouldn't have to pay two or three dollars to withdraw their own money from bank machines.

The New Democrats are also asking for measures they say will create jobs, such as providing a $1,000 tax credit to small businesses to offset the costs of hiring a new worker, at a cost of about $113 million.

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