THE GOV­ERN­MENT HAS RE­PEAT­EDLY MOVED THE GOALPOSTS AND BRO­KEN SEV­ERAL PROM­ISES.

National Post (National Edition) - - FP COMMENT -

would pre­vent rapid de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in Ot­tawa’s fis­cal po­si­tion. At the same time, the prime min­is­ter promised to re­duce the ra­tio “ev­ery sin­gle year” be­cause “that’s what’s im­por­tant for the fis­cal health of our coun­try.”

Yet the gov­ern­ment failed to de­liver on this pledge. Just months af­ter the above pro­nounce­ments, the 2016 bud­get showed the debt-toGDP ra­tio would tick up in 2016/17 from the pre­vi­ous won’t be kept ei­ther.

Why? Be­cause in 2014/15, the year be­fore the gov­ern­ment was elected, the ra­tio stood at 30.9 per cent. By 2019/20, the last year of its cur­rent man­date, the 2017 bud­get fore­casts the debtto-GDP ra­tio will be 31.5 per cent. So con­trary to the gov­ern­ment’s lat­est prom­ise, the ra­tio is not go­ing down over its man­date — it’s go­ing up.

And cru­cially, there are a num­ber of rea­sons why the

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