FISCAL UPDATE LEAVES FEDERAL FINANCE MINISTER SEEING RED
Nov 20, 2015
By Bob Komsic
It’s not the kind of inheritance he was hoping for.
In delivering his first fiscal update just days after taking on the finance minister’s job, Bill Morneau says the $2.4-billion surplus for 2015-16 projected by the Harper Conservatives in the spring budget is now expected to be a $3-billion deficit.
He says slower economic growth, rising expenses and lower revenues due to low commodity prices are to blame.
But Tory finance critic Lisa Raitt’s questioning the swing in numbers.
“Clearly some of the money has already been spent or their plans have already been put in place behind closed doors and we’d like to know what that money’s been spent on.”
The calculations in the fiscal update do not account for the spending pledges the Liberals made during the election, nor do they factor in potential growth benefits the governments expects from the stimulus.
The finance minister maintains the government will keep it’s promise to balance the books before the next election.