OTTAWA, ON - March 5, 2010 - The Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) responded today to the 2010 Federal Budget expressing with great dismay that the Harper government continues to delay efforts to balance the federal budget.
CTF Federal Director, Kevin Gaudet, said “a plan to balance the budget should actually balance the budget and this doesn’t do that. Restraint delayed is restraint denied. Taxpayers have heard similar promises of restraint before. Canadians will believe it when they see it.”
No Projected End To Deficits – Seven Years and Counting
The government projects deficits into the future with no end in sight. At minimum, through 2014-15, Canadians will have suffered through seven years of deficits. Gaudet said, “The deficits of today are the taxes of tomorrow. Canada’s children will be left to pay for this legacy of spending.”
Program spending in 2007-08 stood at $199.5 billion. In 2009-10 it grew to $238 billion. For 2010-11 it is projected to have ballooned to $249 billion – a spending increase of 25 per cent in three years. The CTF has called on the government to balance the budget over three years including the elimination of regional development programs. Instead, spending continues to grow out of control, including another $48 million per year for regional development programs.
Harper Government Adds Back $164.4 billion to Debt
In 2007-08, the last year of surplus, the federal debt stood at $457.6 billion. Over 11 years the Chretien, Martin and Harper government paid down $105 billion to get it to that level. In just three years, in early 2011, all of the $105 billion will have been added back to the debt – and more. Today the federal debt is above $514 billion.
EI Tax Hikes
The government intends to reinstate increases to Employment Insurance (EI) premiums effective January 2011. Gaudet concluded, “until the government makes EI a real insurance program and stops using it as a slush for ‘training’ these increases are tax hikes.”