For the first six months of fiscal year 2013-14, the federal government posted a deficit of $10.7 billion, an increase of $1.3 billion from that reported in the same period in 2012-13. The year-over-year increase in the deficit was more than attributable to the booking of a $2.8 billion liability for disaster assistance for the 2013 flood in Alberta. In the absent of this one-time liability, the deficit over April to September 2013 would have been $1.5 billion lower than in the same period last year.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to why federal spending in the last fiscal year (2012-13) was so much lower than expected. The Minister of Finance stated that it was due to the Government’s “tight control over spending”. But this claim of good expenditure management is not credible. The reality is that Minister Flaherty has been “overstating” his forecast of government spending for some time.
Posted: 14/11/2013, by Scott Clark & Peter Devries
On Tuesday, Finance Minister Flaherty released his Update of Economic and Fiscal Projections. As had been widely speculated, the government is now forecasting a surplus of nearly $4 billion for 2015-16, almost $3 billion higher than expected in the March 2013 Budget. Hardly a surprise since the government is betting its political future on eliminating the deficit in 2015-16 and being in a position to implement the tax initiatives promised in the 2011 election.
Posted: 08/11/2013, by Scott Clark & Peter Devries
In the media briefing following his meeting with private sector economists on October 28th, the Minister of Finance stated that the lower than expected deficit outcome for 2012-13, of $6.9 billion, was due to the Government’s ``tight control over spending``. The focus of Minister Flaherty’s comments was on the differences between the final deficit outcome and the March 2013 Budget forecast.
Posted: 06/11/2013, by Scott Clark & Peter Devries
In an article in iPOLTICS on October 31st, Elizabeth Thompson reported that Maxime Bernier – the Ted Cruz of Canadian politics - would present a resolution at the Conservative Party’s National Convention, which would introduce balanced budget legislation and freeze federal government spending at $300 billion beginning in 2016-17 and continue for the next four fiscal years. This resolution was passed at the convention. But did those who voted for this resolution have any understanding of what it means?
Posted: 31/10/2013, by Scott Clark & Peter Devries
The Conservative party will begin its National Convention in Calgary on Thursday of this week. Prime Minister Harper is no doubt looking forward to a strong convention that would get his government out of its mid-term doldrums.