Parliamentary Budget Officer shows bigger hole in federal budget

Author: Franco Terrazzano 2023/10/16

OTTAWA, ON: The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the federal government to immediately cut spending following the Parliamentary Budget Officer’s report showing the deficit already way over budget. 

“As bad as the budget was, the independent budget watchdog is showing that federal finances are in even worse shape,” said Franco Terrazzano, CTF Federal Director. “The Trudeau government continues to mismanage our finances and that means more money wasted on interest charges, higher cost of living and more debt that Canadians’ kids and grandkids will have to pay back.”

The PBO’s October 2023 Economic and Fiscal Outlook shows this year’s deficit is expected to increase to $46.5 billion. That’s up from Budget 2023’s projected deficit of $40.1 billion.

The federal debt is expected to surpass $1.2 trillion this year, according to the PBO. The debt-to-GDP ratio is increasing to 42.6 per cent, despite Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland saying, “We are absolutely determined that our debt-to-GDP ratio must continue to decline.”

“The feds have already blown through their budgeted deficit projection by more than $6 billion and we’re only halfway through the budget year,” Terrazzano said. “And the government’s been solemnly signalling the bond rating agencies that it would get the debt-to-GDP ratio going down, but the PBO shows it’s going up.”

Interest on federal government debt will cost taxpayers $46.4 billion this year. 

In its last budget, the government said it would find “savings of $15.4 billion over the next five years.” However, the PBO report shows the government announced “$28.6 billion in (net) new spending over 2022-23 to 2027-28.”

“Interest charges on the government’s credit card will cost taxpayers almost $4 billion every single month,” Terrazzano said. “That’s billions of dollars every month that can’t go to fixing potholes or lowering taxes because it’s going to the bond fund managers on bay street. 

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau must put down the credit card and pick up some scissors.”

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Franco Terrazzano
Federal Director at
Canadian Taxpayers

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