Final Outcome for 2016-17 will Depend on Impact of Tax Planning on Personal Income Tax results

In the March 2017 Budget, the Minister of Finance lowered his deficit forecast for 2016-17 from $25.1 billion to $23.0 billion. This improvement of $2.1 billion was primarily due to better-than-expected economic conditions and an increase in the lapse ($3.2 billion). These improvements were partially offset by provisions for anticipated Cabinet decisions ($0.9 billion) and the impact of new policy initiatives proposed in the March 2017 Budget ($0.3 billion).

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Fiscal Monitor for April 2016 to February 2017; Consistent with the Revised 2017 Budget Forecast for the Year as a Whole

Fiscal Monitor for April 2016 to February 2017; Consistent with the Revised 2017 Budget Forecast for the Year as a Whole

A surplus of $1.3 billion was reported for February 2017, compared to a surplus of $3.2 billion for February 2016. On a year-over-year basis, budgetary revenues were down $0.4 billion, while program expenses increased $1.5 billion. Public debt charges were virtually unchanged.

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Main Estimates: Reforms Fall Short of what is require

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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