Budget 2023 - Deficits and higher taxes forever

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2023/03/28

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is criticizing Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s budget for raising taxes and running deficits indefinitely.

“This budget is giving taxpayers big deficits, more money wasted on interest charges and higher taxes,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the CTF. “This government doesn’t care about fiscal prudence or helping taxpayers.”

The deficit is expected to reach $40 billion in 2023, which is almost $10 billion higher than forecasted in the fiscal update. There is no plan to balance the budget.

The government overspent its own 2022 budget by $18 billion.

The government is promising to find $3.95 billion in savings in 2023, but total spending is still increasing by another $20 billion in 2023 to $490.5 billion.

“If you’re spending more money, you’re doing a bad job of finding savings,” Terrazzano said.

The debt will total $1.2 trillion by the end of 2023. Interest charges on the debt will cost taxpayers almost $44 billion in 2023. Interest charges will reach $50 billion in 2027.

On April 1, the government is increasing the carbon tax to 14 cents per litre of gasoline and 12 cents per cubic metre of natural gas. Federal alcohol taxes will also increase by two per cent. Budget 2023 includes a tax on share buybacks, taxation on dividends received by financial institutions, higher taxes on top earners and intergenerational business transfers.

While the government is providing some one-time GST rebates, there are no broad-based tax cuts.

“Giving a few families back some of their GST money is really just an admission there’s a problem without looking for a serious solution,” Terrazzano said. “Taxpayers need real tax relief.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau initially said he would run a few “modest” deficits before returning to budget balance in 2019. Trudeau was set to miss that balanced budget by $20 billion even before the pandemic. The most recent fiscal update projected a $4.5-billion surplus in 2027. Budget 2023 is now forecasting a $14-billion deficit that year.

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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