Main Estimates: Reforms Fall Short of what is require

 

Read More

DEFICIT FOR 2016-17 COULD BE $3 BILLION LOWER THAN FORECAST IN NOVEMBER UPDATE

The November 2016 Update forecasts a deficit of $25.1 billion for 2016-17.  Based on the financial results for the first nine months of 2016-17, public debt charges could be as much as $1 billion lower than forecast in the Update, while direct program expenses could be at least $2 billion lower.  Budgetary revenues appear to be on track, with differences in components offsetting each other.  On balance, the final outcome for 2016-17 could be at least $3 billion lower than forecast in the November Update, excluding extraordinary accrual adjustments.

Read More

Reform of the Estimates: Increase the Scope of the Estimates

 

The President of the Treasury Board has recently released a four-pillar approach for Estimates reform to address issues raised by Parliamentarians concerning their inability to properly scrutinize government spending.  They also respond to the 2015 election commitment to better align the appropriations detailed in the Estimates to those in the Budget and Public Accounts.

Read More

DEFICIT FOR 2016-17 COULD BE $3 BILLION LOWER THAN FORECAST IN NOVEMBER UPDATE

 

The November 2016 Update forecasts a deficit of $25.1 billion for 2016-17.  Based on the financial results for the first eight months of 2016-17, public debt charges could be as much as $1 billion lower than forecast in the Update, while direct program expenses could be at least $2 billion lower.  Budgetary revenues appear to be on track, with differences in components offsetting each other.  On balance, the final outcome for 2016-17 could be at least $3 billion lower than forecast in the November Update.

Read More

ESTIMATES REFORM The Finance Minister and the President of the Treasury Board Should Talk More Often

The President of the Treasury Board has recently released a four-pillar strategy (a 2015 election commitment) for Estimates Reform aimed at improving the ability of Parliament to properly scrutinize government spending.  The four pillars are: timing of the tabling of the Main Estimates; the scope and accounting methods used in the Estimates and the Budget; changes to the current vote structure; and changes to the Reports on Plans and Priorities and the Departmental Performance Reports.   This note examines the proposed changes to the tabling of the Main Estimates.

Read More

Changes to the Budgetary Process that Have Gone Largely Unnotic


Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced some significant changes to the budgetary process in 2016 which went largely unnoticed by the media and financial commentators. In February last year he released  “Backgrounder – Economic Outlook”, which, included the Department of Finance’s latest survey of private sector economists for 2016 and 2017.  This in itself was not new. The previous government had also published revised economic forecasts in advance of the budget.

Read More