Gov. has spending problem

This week, the House of Commons is adjourned and will resume next week with the much anticipated budget to be delivered on March 22.

As is often the case, there are considerable rumors circulating about the content of the budget. At this point, the only details we know with certainty is the budget will again run a considerable deficit while the Liberal Government refuses to disclose when the budget will again return to balance, given that the promised date of 2019 will not be met.

The Liberals have created a very serious problem. Increases in program spending along with a cut to income taxes in particular for those in the $100,000 up to $199,000 threshold have essentially created a structural deficit where spending now exceeds revenue each year by a sizeable margin.

To further complicate this situation, as I mentioned last week, in 2019, Liberals will also significantly increase infrastructure spending according to their fiscal plan. In essence, the Government is now out of money and is borrowing, creating a situation where increasingly more money is spent paying interest on debt, leaving less money available for other programs.

In fact Canada now spend more on debt servicing each year than we do on national defence. As you may also be aware, Canada has recently been singled out for not fulfilling its NATO budgetary spending commitments.

For the Liberals, who inherited a balanced budget, the sudden change in Canada’s fiscal situation has created a serious problem. With spending only set to increase, the only alternative is to increase taxes.

This was recently contemplated with the idea to make employer provided health and dental plans to be considered as taxable benefits before the Government backed off on the idea. Currently, the Government is now exploring other options where taxes can be increased without causing harm to the Canadian economy.

I mention this fact as the new administration in the United States is lowering many taxes in particular for the corporate sector. Although the U.S. presidential twitter feed seems to attract most of the media attention these days lower U.S. corporate taxes are a real concern for Canadian competitiveness.

As one example, Canadian business investment declined over two per cent in the most recent fiscal quarter and has declined every fiscal quarter since the Liberal Government was elected. 

The decline in investment is a particular concern as new investment typically leads to more jobs and by extension citizens who are employed and paying taxes instead of being unemployed and drawing benefits.

The solution? The Liberals have hinted they will undertake a taxation review that many have speculated will be an exercise to eliminate various tax credits in an effort to increase revenue.

It has also been suggested the Government may increase the capital gains tax. In theory, most support an increased capital gains tax, but the downside of such a move is a term called “asset lock” where assets are not sold in order to avoid paying taxes on the capital gains.

Having assets on hold does little to stimulate the economy and does not produce the revenue expectations of government thus creating a no win situation.

In my opinion, the Government will need to concede that it has developed a spending problem and we are  leaving bills for our kids and our grandkids, a situation most I believe would agree is not responsible. 

My question today relates to the budget. Do you believe the Government should place a greater priority on having a plan to return to balance?

I can be reached at [email protected] or you  call toll free at 1-800-665-8711.

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About the Author

Dan Albas has been a Penticton resident since 1981. After attending Okanagan University College, he chose to move into small business where his company Kick City Martial Arts has flourished, training hundreds of men, women and children to bring out their best. For his work on child safety and awareness, Dan was the recipient Penticton’s 2005 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Dan and his wife, Tara, reside in West Kelowna, where they raise their four daughters.

He has served as campaign chair for the United Way of the South Okanagan-Similkameen in 2006-07 and 2010-11, both times surpassing their fundraising goals.

As a community leader, he was elected to Penticton City Council in the 2008 municipal elections, where, as a first time candidate, he won with 5,656 votes, topping the polls. Through his work as a city councillor, Dan has proven himself to be a strong constituency worker delivering results and standing up for what he believes in. Dan took a leading role on public safety by proposing aggressive panhandling and dog control bylaws; he proposed a review that greatly helped his community to balance the books and to focus on core services by eliminating wasteful or unnecessary spending. His Penticton Politics website blog has offered new ways for constituents to communicate on important issues.

On June 28 of 2012 Dan became one of the first MP’s in recent history to have a Private Members Bill (Bill 311) C-311 become law with the unanimous all party support of both the House of Commons and the Canadian Senate.  Bill C-311 “An Act to amend the importation of intoxicating liquors Act” amended a prohibition era law to prevented the free trade of wine over provincial boarders.

Dan is honoured to serve the residents of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola as their Member of Parliament. He has made good on his commitment to establish a personal blog with his http://www.danalbas.com/mp-report site, where he chronicles his activities as the Member of Parliament for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola.

Dan welcomes your input, so please contact him by e-mail, phone or mail. He can be reached at:

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola's MP office

2562-B Main Street
West Kelowna, B.C. V4T 2N5
Email: [email protected]
Phone toll free: 1.800.665.8711
Fax: 250.707.2153

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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