Today at 4:00 p.m. in Ottawa, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tabled a fiscal and economic update for the 2008/9 fiscal year. No guarantees are promised, but here is a quick overview of the government’s plans:
- No stimulus package at this time.
- No deficit this fiscal year and five balanced budget over the next five years.
- Some relief planned for seniors and pension funds.
- Capped salary increases for civil service—annual 2.3 percent for 2008/9, and 1.5 per cent in following three years.
- Cuts to government departments’ and agencies’ travel and consulting and sale of assets—$15 billion expected to be saved over five years.
- Cut government per vote subsidy to political parties April 1, 2009.
- More stimulus may be required in the future, and it may push budget into deficit.
A good small “c” conservative approach in these uncertain times.
According to CTV Newsnet, Liberals and NDP will not support the update (in its current form) so we could see the government fall before Christmas. And rumours are circulating that discussions are underway that would see the opposition trying to form a government should the Conservatives fall.