‘Unbelievable, unreliable and incredible’

Scott Clark and Peter DeVries review the Auditor General’s recommendations on fiscal sustainability.

In its response, the Department of Finance has agreed to publish fiscal sustainability reports for the federal government on an annual basis, by 2013 at the latest.  It will not, however, publish its long-term fiscal projections for the provincial governments, arguing that it is not accountable for their fiscal situations. In its latest report, the PBO concluded that, although the federal government’s finances are sustainable over the long term, the provincial governments collectively face a huge fiscal challenge. For some reason, the Minister Flaherty does not seem to be interested in the long-term fiscal sustainability of the total public sector in Canada.

To us, this is “unbelievable, unreliable and incredible”. Federal actions can have profound impacts on provincial finances (e.g., restraining the growth in the Canada Health Transfer from 6 per cent per year to between 3.5-4%). The Department of Finance should publish its sustainability reports for the provincial government sector. Who else is in a position to do so or has the responsibility to do so. There is only one taxpayer and it is extremely important that Parliamentarians and Canadians fully comprehend the implications of federal actions, not only on federal finances, but on the provincial finances as well.




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‘Unbelievable, unreliable and incredible’

  1. Weren’t these the same “clowns” who were claiming a couple of months ago that Old Age Pension program was sustainable without considering other government programs like the effect of demographics on health care costs, and there was no need to slowly raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67.

    Now they are accusing the government of doing the exact same thing they themselves did just a couple of months ago.

    • I doubt it? Just a glance at the cvs of these guys should tell you whatever else they are they aren’t clowns – that’s just goofy. There is credible evidence out there [some of it at macleans ] that the OSP is indeed sustainable without pushing back the age eligibility – at least there is no need to make it mandatory and hurt those who can’t hold out a couple of years.

      • How can you claim OAS is sustainable when you don’t do a whole sustainability analysis of the federal and provincial governments? There is only one taxpayer. As these guys point out. You can’t look at OAS or any other program or any single government in isolation.

        One can only look at the sustainability of OAS in the context of the sustainability of all government programs provincial and federal.

        • Maybe…but there are a number of graphs that were flosting around at the time of the debate that clearly showed that there would be an arguably manageable bulge in spending followed fairly raidly by a downward trend in spending. It was not off the chart as the tories alleged – nor was it over a 100billion, or whatever dishonest figure they were tossing around.

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