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PBO report questions need for Liberals' planned stimulus spending

Stimulus no longer needed?

The parliamentary budget officer is questioning whether the federal Liberals need to spend tens of billions in planned stimulus.

In a report this morning, Yves Giroux says the federal guardrails designed to guide spending decisions appear to have been met, suggesting any stimulus should be wound down before the fiscal year ends in March.

Giroux says the rationale for the planned stimulus of up to $100 billion no longer exists.

His report this morning on federal finances also says the government has spent or planned to spend $541.9 billion in new measures, almost one-third of which are not related to COVID-19.

While the government is projecting a better-than-expected deficit this year, Giroux's office says the actual results may be worse than the $144.5 billion deficit outlined in Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's budget update in December.

The Liberals still have some planned spending related to their bevy of campaign promises, which the PBO estimates would amount to $48.5 billion in net new spending over the next five years.



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