Once Again No Reconciliation

The President of the Treasury Board recently tabled Supplementary Estimates A for 2013-14.  This is the first Supplementary Estimates since the tabling of Budget 2013.  Since Budget 2013 was tabled after the tabling of the Main Estimates for 2013-14, Supplementary Estimates A provided the second opportunity (Budget 2013 was the first) to explain the differences between Estimates and the forecast of total expenses in Budget 2013 for 2013-14.  We are still no closer to discovering how much spending will increase/decrease in 2013-14.

The table below provides a comparison between the Estimates to date for 2012-13 and 2013-14 and the expense estimates provided in Budget 2013.

Reconciliation of Spending: Estimates and Budget 2013 ($ billions)
                                                                        2012-13      2013-14 Difference

Main Estimates  
  Voted                                                                  91.9             87.1           -4.9
  Statutory                                                           160.0           165.5            5.5
  Total                                                                 251.9           252.6             0.7
Supplementary Estimates   
  Voted                                                                    6.7               1.1
  Statutory                                                               0.4                …
  Total                                                                     7.1               1.1
Total Estimates                   
  Voted                                                                   98.5             88.2         -10.3
  Statutory                                                            160.4           165.5            5.1
  Total                                                                  259.0           253.6          -5.4

Budget 2013                                                        280.1           282.6           2.5
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

According to the Present of the Treasury Board, total spending is expected to decline by $5.4 billion.  However, in Budget 2013, the Minister of Finance stated that total expenses would increase by $2.5 billion.

We have documented the differences between the Main Estimates and Budget/Update in previous blogs(1) and have encouraged the Government to take steps to make the Estimates more comparable in concept and coverage to the Budget/Update and to provide reconciliations of any remaining differences. 

To date, these recommendations have fallen on deaf ears and Parliamentarians and Canadians will continue to remain in the dark about the Government’s spending intentions.


1. "Making Government Budget and Financial Planning More Understanable: The Triumph of Optimism Over Experience" December 2007, among others www.3dpolicy.ca

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