For the first six months of fiscal year 2012-13, the federal government posted a deficit of $8.9 billion, down $2.9 billion from the $11.8 billion reported in the same period in 2012-13. Of the $2.9 billion year-over-year improvement, budgetary revenues were up by $3.4 billion, public debt charges declined by $1.1 billion, while program expenses were up by $1.6 billion.Read More
No Consistency Between the Estimates and the Budget Spending Projections: What Numbers Are To Be Believed?
On November 8, 2012, the President of the Treasury Board tabled Supplementary Estimates B for fiscal year 2012-13, which indicated that total estimates to date were down 2.0 per cent from the same period last year. He bragged about how the Government was controlling spending. However, just four days later, the Minister of Finance, in his Economic and Fiscal Update, appeared to contradict his colleague by stating that total expenses for 2012-13 would be 3.9 per cent higher.
The Minister of Finance presented his Economic and Fiscal Update on November 13th in a luncheon address to the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce, thereby again bypassing the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. The Update incorporates the October 29, 2012 average of the private sector economic forecasts.Read More
The Opposition and media claimed that the federal government “quietly”/”by stealth” cut program expenses by $8.0 billion in 2011-12. This was based on a table that appeared in Volume I of the Public Accounts of Canada 2012 that compared the final audited outcome for 2011-12 to the June 2011 Budget forecast of program expenses. In response, Minister Flaherty stated, “the numbers show the government is doing all it can to control spending”.
Neither claim is correct.