Remember when just before the last recession Harper said there was no way Canada would have a deficit. Flaherty said the same, not just once but every other day they stated it. It would be funny but for their lack of honesty.
Remember the last election? Flaherty’s governing Conservatives promised to accelerate a return to surplus.
Now they find themselves in a further $12 billion hole. Coincidentally, that 12 billion is about the same amount the GST they cut would bring in annually. Then there's the cuts to corporate income. Corporate taxes are going down on schedule it seems, damn the deficit.
The Parliamentary Budget Officer warned us that the government would have to raise taxes or cut programs and services. We know they won't be raising corporate taxes, nor slowing down the rate of decline of those taxes. They're still planning much in the way of spending cuts (anyone talk to a veteran lately?).
It looks like the government will freeze or even reduce EI premiums for employers. It seems it doesn't matter what the Harper Conservatives put in a budget. Its gonna change, likely for the worse.
Now close your eyes. Pretend you are listening to the NDP Finance Critic Peter Julian. Now pretend he is the Finance Minister in the NDP Government. Imagine the media and Conservative opposition to this statement, "While Julian has declined to say how slowing growth will influence his plans to balance the budget by 2014, he has said the government still aims to balance the budget “in the medium term."
Now I know you are likely to laugh at that one, but t was Flaherty that said it. He said that today. My final question is what the heck is the medium term? four years? five years, maybe seven years?
Flaherty update may retreat from deficit promise
update: Ottawa likely to miss four-year balanced budget target in today's fiscal update