The Conservative government sketched out on Thursday its initial plans to return to budget balance, by targeting cuts in the public service, a freeze on foreign aid, limited growth in military spending and higher EI premiums.
The spending restraint, outlined in its 2010 budget, would net $17.6-billion in savings over five years and bring the deficit down from a high of $53.8-billion this fiscal year, ending March 31, to a low of $1.8-billion by 2015.
Before the cuts kick in, however, the Conservative government said it was committed to spend $19-billion as part of year two of the two-year $47-billion stimulus package aimed at resuscitating the economy after the global financial crisis.
The 451-page budget sets out how the Conservatives plan to meet all its goals — of creating jobs and bolstering Canada’s long-term competitiveness, while at the same time returning to surplus without tax increases, nor cuts to transfers to provinces and individuals. The government also said it would go through with cuts to corporate income taxes, from 19% to 15% by 2012, despite calls from opposition politicians to cancel them and use the money to help seniors and the poor.
“We are building Canada’s reputation as an investment-friendly country,” Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said in his budget speech. “A country committed to free and open trade, unburdened by massive debts and [the] higher taxes of our competitors.”
[…]Even though Canada’s economy is recovering at a rather robust clip of late — 5% growth was recorded in the final quarter of 2009 — Mr. Flaherty said following through with more stimuli is the right thing to do as the global recovery is in its nascent stages.
Measures linked with the stimulus plan will expire as of March next year, and with it comes a plan to return to budget balance.
It’s like their entire country is being run by grown-ups! Why can’t we have that here?