Last January, we speculated on the possibility of a balanced budget “Ottawa’s Got A Growth Problem” (iPolitics January 2014) or even a surplus, in 2014-15. We concluded that a surplus in 2014-15 was not very likely. We believe, in the absence of some creative book keeping, that a surplus is still unlikely.
Jim Flaherty’s ninth budget, called “The Road to Balance; Creating Jobs and Opportunities”, consisted of 419 pages and 78 new initiatives. Sounds like more than a “do nothing budget”, certainly when compared to the 2013 Budget, which contained few new initiatives and 433 pages. Unfortunately, it is not just a “do nothing budget”, but, even worse, it is a “sleight-of-hand budget”. And, regrettably, despite the title of the budget, there is nothing of substance in this budget to strengthen economic growth and job creation.Read More
A debate has broken out over how to use the surpluses projected in the 2014 budget. Everyone expected that during the 2015 election there would be a heated debate between the Conservative government and the Opposition Parties over how to use the projected surpluses. No one expected a heated debate within the Conservative party.Read More
For the first eight months of fiscal year 2013-14, the federal government posted a deficit of $13.8 billion, an increase of $0.2 billion from that the deficit of $13.6 billion reported in the same period in 2012-13. The year-over-year increase was affected by the “booking” of a $2.8 billion liability for disaster assistance for the 2013 flood in Alberta. In the absence of this one-time liability, the deficit would have been $2.6 billion lower.