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Dan-in-Ottawa

Budget deficit balloons

The Liberal 2015 campaign promise was to deliver three years of "modest" $10 billion deficits with a return to a balanced budget in 2019.

This week, the Liberals presented the 2019 budget that clearly reveals Mr. Trudeau not only broke his "very cast in stone" promise to return to a balanced budget, but also that he made no effort to do so.

The 2019-20 deficit forecast is set at close to $19.8 billion.

This is on top of the $60 billion in deficits added in the first three Liberal budgets.

The current budget indicates there is no path to balance until at least the year 2040, by that point racking up an additional $271 billion in new debt.

So where is all of the money going?

Program spending is a significant part with an increase of $22.8 billion in spending over the next five years.

A brief summary of some of that from the 2019 budget:

  • A new job retraining program for eligible workers aged between 25-64 that will provide up to $250 per year to a career maximum of $5,000.
  • An increase to the maximum a first time home owner can borrow from their RRSP from $25,000 that will now be increased to a limit of $35,000.
  • A new shared equity home ownership plan where CHMC will provide a shared matching contribution between 5-10 per cent toward the down payment on a new or existing home. Citizens with a household income under $120,000 may qualify. This will be limited to a purchase price that cannot exceed more than four times the annual household income.
  • Those who can afford to purchase a new electrical vehicle may now be eligible for up to a $5,000 federal credit on the purchase.
  • There is also a commitment to spend $35 million over four years to create a new federal Canadian drug agency, assumedly in Ottawa, that can work toward bulk buying drugs on a national scale.
  • Aboriginal communities will also receive $1.4 billion over seven years to forgive outstanding legal fees resulting from treaty and land negotiations. Indigenous groups that have already paid these fees can be eligible to have them repaid under this program.
  • Interest rates on Canada Student Loans will be lowered to prime and will be interest-free for six months after graduation.
  • $553 million has been budgeted over the next three years to attempt to fix the failed Phoenix pay system.
  • There will also be changes to the GIS income earning threshold so that a working senior may claim more income without affecting the GIS support levels.

This is only a brief summary of some of the measures contained in the 2019 federal budget.

Many critics have largely labelled it a "political goodies budget" specially targeting certain voting demographics that the Liberals hope will translate to votes in the October election.

I will reserve my own thoughts in an upcoming MP report.

My question this week:

  • Do you like what you see in the 2019 budget so far?

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



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About the Author

Dan Albas, Conservative member of Parliament for the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, is the shadow minister of innovation, science, economic development and internal trade, and sits on the standing committee on finance.

Before entering public life, Dan was the owner of Kick City Martial Arts, responsible for training hundreds of men, women and youth to bring out their best.

In British Columbia, Dan has been consistently one of the lowest spending MPs on office and administration related costs despite operating two offices to better serve local constituents.

Dan is consistently recognized as one of Canada’s top 10 most active members of Parliament on Twitter (@danalbas) and continues to write a weekly column published in many local newspapers and on this website.

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



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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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