Flood relief boosts federal deficit to $3.8 billion in September


OTTAWA – The federal deficit ballooned to an outsized $3.8-billion September —one of the biggest monthly shortfalls in years — but a large chunk of that was due to providing assistance for June’s flooding disaster in Alberta, the government said Friday.

Ottawa’s monthly accounting of its fiscal position also included another one-time transaction — a gain of about $700 million from the sale of General Motors shares — that distorted September’s bottom line.

The two unusual events leave the government slightly behind pace if it is to meet projected deficit of $17.9 billion for the current 2013-14 fiscal year, which closes at the end of March.

For the first half of the current fiscal year, which began in April, the government accumulated a deficit of $10.7 billion, compared with $9.4 billion for the same period last year.

Still, the Finance Department suggests the distortions from the two extraordinary events should be discounted in calculating Ottawa’s underlying fiscal position.

“Absent the impact of these two one-time factors, the deficit for September 2013 would have been $1.7 billion,” the department said in its report.

“The deficit for the April to September 2013 period would have been $8.6 billion (slightly lower than last year).”

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said earlier this week he was confident that the government is on track to eliminate the deficit in 2015, despite slow growth.

On that front, the government received some good news Friday with the release of fresh data showing the economy expanded by 2.7 per cent in the third quarter, the fastest pace of growth in two years and about one percentage point quicker than during the first half of 2013.

More encouraging is that third-quarter nominal GDP, which includes inflation and is more directly tied to tax revenues, rose a healthy 5.6 per cent.

Ottawa expects to make a big dent in the deficit next year when it anticipates both real and nominal GDP will show a substantial pick-up.

For September, federal revenues increased by $2.1 billion, or 10.8 per cent, as healthy gains in personal and GST tax receipts offset a $300 decline in corporate tax revenues.

Meanwhile, program expenses rose by $3.6 billion, or 19 per cent, mostly due to reporting the costs of disaster relief all in the month of September.

For the first six months of the 2013-14 financial year, Ottawa said its revenues were up $4.3 billion, or 3.5 per cent — while its program expenses rose by $5.4 billion, or 4.6 per cent.

Public debt charges to service the national debt cost Ottawa $14.9 billion through the six months, $160 million more than for the same period last year.


Flood relief boosts federal deficit to $3.8 billion in September

  1. This is so phoney! First they cover up the Kennedy Assassination, then they fake the moon landings. Now there is this fake ‘climate change’ and Stephen Harper takes advantage of the hysteria to fake a ‘flood’ as an excuse to give out some money in his own riding. A responsible province like Alberta would have taken mitigative steps to prevent such an event if it were remotely possible. If there were a massive flood like this, there is no way the Calgary Stampede would have gone off on schedule.

    Let me be the first to cry ‘conspiracy!’.

    • You forgot to mention the “fact” there was cloud seeding to create the flood from the mountain in the first place.

      • Well, there was some rain to give the fuzz an excuse to take away their guns.

        • Is your pen name meant to be “Ironic ” or is it your belief?
          I most certainly agree “the end might be near”
          BUT>>>>>>>as an Atheist it has a more “permanent” meaning for me. Take care and have a pleasant week ahead.

          • It came to me in a moment of silliness. My brother’s memorial service ended with “always look on the bright side of life” and I agreed fully with the selection. The heat death of the universe is a long way off but mankind may be approaching an across-the-board ‘lifestyle downsizing opportunity’. Perhaps, if the downturn is violent enough, people like Stephen Harper and Dubya will meet the sort of end that caught up with Mussolini.

          • Right with YOU!. The Human animal is due for “interesting times”.
            We possess a VICIOUS cunning and cleverness..and an infinite capacity to alter the environment to suit ourselves(destroying it in the process) True intelligence and common sense IS RARE IF it DOES exist in us.

            “Always look to the bright side of life” ? YES! We appear.. as does a soap bubble into the universe ..and last about as long in the time scale. But to observe the wonders in even that short time is indescribable,and unfathomable.(IF one has the capacity as you do)

            As you said the heat death is “a little bit away”(sarcasm)
            I like to hope we will discover the universe WILL “contrac” to the big “crunch” to then repeat…the big bang. Nature always recycles??
            Interesting to contemplate…enjoy your posts….. have an excellent week ahead

  2. Now if our Federal Government would collect those billions in tax money owed and stashed overseas by wealthy individuals and corporations perhaps our finances would return normal ?

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