Finance Minister calls Federal Budget 'boring'

The new fiscal plan is nearly balanced, with a deficit of 2.9 billion dollars, but also a 3 billion dollar contingency fund...

The Conservative government has delivered a boa constrictor budget, putting the squeeze on spending to slay the deficit.

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty's 10th federal budget all but balances the books in fiscal 2014, leaving only a 2.9 billion shortfall with a three-billion-dollar reserve.

And he's forecasting a surplus of 6.4-billion for next year, just in time for the next election.

Flaherty is putting off 3.1-billion dollars in planned military equipment purchases over the next three years.

He is also bringing in higher tobacco taxes worth nearly 700-million dollars in 2014-15 and plans to save 7.4-billion dollars over six years by getting retired public servants to pay more for health benefits.

The Conservatives are also trying to appease angry veterans by topping up the Last Post funeral fund, expanding the eligibility criteria to cover the burial of impoverished ex-soldiers from modern conflicts like Afghanistan.

Other initiatives aimed at consumers include a promise of 305-million over five years to expand rural and northern broadband Internet service and another 10-million for snowmobile trails.

There are also a host of non-budgetary measures that carry no cost, including a promise to crack down on unjustified cross border price differences for the same goods.

When totalled up, it's all done on the cheap with actual new spending totalling 700-million dollars against cuts that top two-billion.

The net result is that total government spending, including debt servicing charges, actually falls slightly in 2014-15, to 279.2-billion dollars.

ScotiaBank economist Mary Webb says the extent of the cuts to direct program spending are very substantial.

But she says the government had to downsize from the stimulus spending of the recession.

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  1. Sonny posted on 02/11/2014 05:52 PM
    Compared to other G7 countries, Germany is already balanced. In the G20, the People's Republic of China is growing by over 7%
    1. Angry Bill posted on 02/12/2014 03:56 PM
      @Sonny I wouldn't put too much trust in any economic figures coming out of China. They have grossly and artificially inflated their GDP. Ever hear of the ghost cities of China? Look 'em up.. check out a couple of videos describing them. You'll start to get the picture.

      Here's one article I found to get you started:
    2. Sonny posted on 02/12/2014 04:24 PM
      @Angry Bill I am a China observer and know that they are growing more than Canada. Their economy used to grow by double digits!

      The CCP has a plan to urbanize and fill the "ghost cities" where 70% OR 900 million will live in those cities.

      The gov't spent about $580 Billion to stimulate their economy building infrastructure and never entered recession while Americans were printing money to buy Cdn goods.

      The Flaherty budget is going to be balanced by delaying military purchases till after their planned election in 2015...
  2. Jack posted on 02/11/2014 05:59 PM
    "Plans to rein in the cost of compensating public servants."

    GOOD. YES. FINALLY. The public sector is out of control at all levels of this country.
  3. Walter posted on 02/11/2014 10:51 PM
    I read that Canada is the only G7 country with a AAA credit rating.

    Well done Harper Conservatives - we all owe you a great big thank you.
    1. Mike posted on 02/12/2014 04:24 PM
      @Walter Exactly! While the rest of the civilized world was struggling through a recession, the Harper government kept the lights turned on and things running smoothly. And the first move of any Liberal or NDP government is going to be to smash all of those sound fiscal moves in order to throw money down a giant hole labelled "Left-wing Nonsense."

      A vote for Trudeau or Mulcair is a vote to throw away the prosperity we've been enjoying for years.
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