Publications, opinions, and speeches

Caledon

Ottawa’s Annual Fiscal Follies

Published on 12/03/2004

Ottawa’s practice of underestimating the annual surplus has prevented Canadians from making informed choices about government spending.  Letting surpluses lapse into debt repayment has, in fact, had little impact on Ottawa’s debt burden.  There are several possible alternative uses for such funds that would leave Canada much better off.  While Caledon urges the federal government to include a best-effort forecast of its actual anticipated fiscal position in the upcoming Budget, no matter what Ottawa says, it will no longer be believed.

The federal government should set up a Parliamentary Budget Office to provide Parliament with independent assessment of Canada’s fiscal position, thus creating a valuable new check and balance for this and future governments’ budgetary forecasts.

ISBN – 1-55382-093-2

Summary

Ottawa’s practice of underestimating the annual surplus has prevented Canadians from making informed choices about government spending. 

Topic(s)

Government spending and tax