PBO projects $10-billion structural deficit

Parliamentary Budget Office cites demographic changes as budgetary drains


The Parliamentary Budget Office projects that Canada will have a structural deficit of about $10-billion by 2015, the same year the government’s expects to have balanced the budget. In order to avoid significant debt accumulation, Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page says Canada will need to implement sustained measures that also take into account an aging population and stagnant growth. While the projected deficit has fallen from $56 billion in the 2009-2010 fiscal year to $45 billion in 2011-2012, Page says any reduction in the deficit is a result of “cyclical improvement,” meaning a structural deficit exists even when the economy is in a period of growth. The federal Conservatives have projected a $2.6-billion surplus in 2015-2016.

Montreal Gazette

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PBO projects $10-billion structural deficit

  1. poor Kevin … thing is folks he has also projected that we are going to have 5 billion more this year than projected so if this happens again – no deficit

    • You didn't understand a word of that didja….

      • it doesn't make sense to begin with – especially when he caps everything off with he doesn't have enough information – not to mention that he hasn;'t been right yet – oops

        • Like I said, you didn't understand a word of it.

  2. I think we all have to take the Prime Minister's word over Kevin Page on this issue.

    • After all, wasn't it the Prime Minister who predicted that the economic downturn could have ramifications for Canada and tweeked the GST to ensure we would stay out of recession? Wasn't it?

      • Yeah, that's the guy. The same one who refused to blow the surplus on expensive 'candies' to pick up maybe 8 voters, and instead tucked it all away for a rainy day.

        • Emily, you are always on…. can you name the Prime Minister?

          • LOL apparently not! This chatsite seems to have the munchies today!

    • The same prime minister who, in 2008, said, “if there was going to be a recession there would have been one by now”?

  3. Neither the PMO has any idea what the surplus or deficit will be in 2015. The PMO and Harper more probably be in power at that time.
    They or we have no idea what the global or US economy will be like then and we are so dependent on them. We don't know what natural or man-made disaster may occur before that time. We have no idea what our revenue may be by then. Predicting for one year is not much more useful than a dice roll.
    Page has a vested interest in telling the truth
    Harper has a vested interest in lying.

  4. Fire him. Watchdogs and whistleblowers are a waste of money. Throw him in jail. He is criticizing dear leader. Death to the critics of our glorious revolutionary regime…

    Get a hair-cut.
    Pull up your pants.
    Tough love.
    Tax cuts.
    monosyllabic words forever.

    What else? I guess that's enough for now

  5. From the CPC talking points I've heard recently, it sounds like the deficit is not going to be fought directly, but that it's going to be addressed by freezing spending and/or decreasing provincial transfers over the next few years.

    That's an interesting strategy.

    • There has been a specific committment not to decrease transfers. The government has said the elimination of the deficit will come through control of costs (not freezing), the elimination of some of the short-term stimulus programs and the growth in revenues that comes from the recovering economy. So far it seems to be working. And while the $10 billion that Mr. Page says is a possible structural shortfall – that is only 2% of federal expenditures – something that is clearly within the margin of error of anyone's predictions at this point.

    • I believe there has been a public committment to not touch the provincial transfers. The deficit reduction will come from cost control (not freezes generally), the elimination of the one-shot stimulus and special programs (such as the motor industry bail-out) and growth in revenues as the economy recovers. Even if Mr. Page is correct, his estimate of a $10 billion structural problem amounts to less than 2% of planned federal spending in 2015. That is within the margin of error of any forecast – and hardly a matter for panic.

      • Hmm, I guess comments do eventually turn up.

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