‘There Is No Extra Fiscal Room’: Deficits Anticipated To Rise As The Authorities Initiatives Darkish Financial Clouds

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The federal government now predicts subsequent yr will see a flip for the more severe, growing the deficit from a predicted $35 billion to $38.4 billion

A brand new Canadian holds a Canadian flag, their citizenship certificates and a letter signed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as they sing O Canada after changing into a Canadian citizen, throughout a particular Canada Day citizenship ceremony in West Vancouver on Monday, July 1, 2019. Photograph by DARRYL DYCK /THE CANADIAN PRESS

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OTTAWA — The Liberals launched a skinny financial replace Tuesday with little new spending and better future deficits as financial circumstances for the nation are anticipated to worsen.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s fiscal replace predicts Canada’s financial system will slide subsequent yr, not fairly veering right into a recession, however weakening. The nation’s financial progress is now anticipated to be simply 0.4 per cent in 2024, down from the prediction of 1.5 per cent when Freeland tabled the price range within the spring.

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Stronger than anticipated financial progress this yr helped the federal government maintain the $40 billion deficit in keeping with its expectations from the spring price range, regardless of considerations from the Parliamentary Finances Officer that the deficit may balloon.

Canada probably hasn’t prevented the weak financial progress predicted within the price range, however merely delayed it. The federal government now predicts subsequent yr will see a flip for the more severe, growing the deficit from a predicted $35 billion to $38.4 billion. The financial system was extra sturdy than anticipated final yr, decreasing the deficit from $43 billion to $35 billion, however long-term projections from the finance division now present a cussed deficit that might be a lot bigger within the closing years of the last decade than the federal government beforehand anticipated.

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    In her speech to the House of Commons, Freeland said the update reflects the government’s desire to keep its finances in check.

    “We are ensuring that Canada’s finance remains sustainable, because that is how we will be able to continue investing in Canadians for many years to come,” she said.

    The government makes its estimates using a blend of the estimates from banks and other financial institutions. She said despite those predictions souring on the economy’s growth potential, Canada is still moving in the right direction.

    “Inflation is coming down, wages are going up and private sector economists now expect Canada to avoid the post-pandemic recession that many had predicted,” she said. “In the face of global inflation, our government has reduced the deficit faster than any other country in the G7.”

    The update includes several housing measures that were leaked to media earlier this week, including an extension of a low-cost loans for apartment construction with new money available in 2026, a new Canada Mortgage Charter regulating how banks deal with mortgage holders and new tax rules designed to discourage short-term rentals like AirBNB.

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    Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre was quick to denounce the update as yet more spending, leading to higher deficits and fuelling inflation. He announced his party would not support any legislation connected to the fiscal update.

    “This update can be summed up very simply: prices up, rent up, debt up, taxes up, times up. Common sense conservatives will vote non-confidence,” he said in the House of Commons.

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said he felt the update fell short of expectations, but he doesn’t intend to end his confidence and supply agreement with the Liberals over this update.

    “We’re going to continue to work to get Canadians help and use our power that we have in to get Canadians things like potential care programs, to find ways to force this government to respond to the cost of living,”

    Robert Asselin, a senior vice president with the Business Council of Canada, said the update shows the government now realizes it has to turn off the spending taps.

    “It’s a very challenging fiscal track going forward,” he said. “It’s almost like they are coming to this very late. They should have been more worried about this in 2021.”

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    Asselin said the government will be constrained going forward with a limited ability to take on big new projects.

    “There is no more fiscal room for pharmacare. There is no more room for a big recession, before credit rating agencies start asking hard questions,” he said.

    Most of the new measures in the update won’t cost the government money directly, but are instead achieved with new regulations or loans from arm’s length agencies like the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

    The document also sets out timelines for green Technology tax credits the government offered up in past budgets to combat the pull of America’s Inflation Reduction Act.

    Asselin said for the government to have any new fiscal firepower the economy will have to dramatically improve, which he doesn’t believe is likely to happen.

    “Things are only going to go south either with a recession or with inflation being more sticky,” he said. “I see more downside scenarios than upside scenarios.”

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  • Emma Johnson

    Emma Johnson is a passionate and talented article writer with a flair for captivating storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, she weaves compelling narratives that leave readers wanting more. When she's not crafting words, Emma enjoys exploring new cuisines and honing her photography skills.

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