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Subject to change

Jim Flaherty backs away from campaign pledge to run a surplus in 2014

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Whatever the Prime Minister said about new savings during the election, the Finance Minister apparently isn’t quite ready to commit to returning to a surplus in 2014.

When asked directly during an appearance on CTV’s Power Play whether he was committing to eliminating the deficit one year earlier, Mr. Flaherty responded that he was not. “No. I think we have to look at all of the data,” he replied. “We use an average of the private sector forecasters, as we have done for years now, to make sure that we’re on the right track, and in sync with the view of the private sector on the economy, so we’ll look at all these things, there’s a couple of platform commitments too that we’ll look at as well, but fundamentally it will be the same budget that was introduced on March 22.”

Whether this is Mr. Flaherty backing off or merely putting off this election pledge, it has already lasted longer than Mr. Harper’s 2008 election deficit pledge, which survived just three days after that year’s vote.