'We have booked nothing in this year’s budget based on that review because it hasn’t been done yet' - Macleans.ca
 

‘We have booked nothing in this year’s budget based on that review because it hasn’t been done yet’


 

So the Harper government now promises that, if reelected, it will balance the budget in 2014-2015. This promise is based on cuts that were described two weeks ago as hypothetical.

On that note, here is how Finance Minister Jim Flaherty described the “Strategic and Operating Review” when he discussed the budget with reporters shortly before it was tabled on March 22.

We have the freeze on the departmental operating budgets for the next two years.  That was announced last year. That’s not news but we’re maintaining it. But we’re also going ahead with what is quite a significant initiative and that is this Strategic and Operating Review. We’ll look at direct spending and the cost of delivering those services by the federal government. The President of the Treasury Board will be in charge of the special committee that will look at that.  We have booked nothing in this year’s budget based on that review because it hasn’t been done yet.  We’ll let the review happen and then in Budget 2012 we’ll book some savings, I hope. We’ll have some outside experts give advice to the government about how to do this. A great deal of thought and discussion has gone into the creation of the Strategic and Operating Review…

The Strategic Operating Review it’s to accomplish three things. One is it may help us. It may result in the budget being balanced in 2014-15 rather than 2015-16. That could happen. Secondly, it will give us room to pay down public debt because we’re of course accumulating more public debt because of the deficits coming out of the great recession as it’s being called. And, thirdly, it’ll give us an opportunity for more tax reductions. So that’s where the flexibility can come from going forward.  But we don’t need the Strategic and Operating Review to balance in 2015-16.  There are no calculations in the fiscal track based on whatever the results will be of the Strategic and Operating Review.


 

‘We have booked nothing in this year’s budget based on that review because it hasn’t been done yet’

  1. For all that Flaherty is worth on this matter, why not just say the budget was balanced last thursday?

  2. For all that Flaherty is worth on this matter, why not just say the budget was balanced last thursday?

    • I thought I heard something.

  3. "That could happen."

    Jim Flaherty on every promise he's ever made to balance a budget. How does anyone take him seriously any more?

  4. "That could happen."

    Jim Flaherty on every promise he's ever made to balance a budget. How does anyone take him seriously any more?

    • I've been wondering how people could still be taking Jim Flaherty seriously since he was messing up provincial finances.

  5. What's in STORE (STrategic and Operating REview)? Wait and see suckers!

  6. What's in STORE (STrategic and Operating REview)? Wait and see suckers!

  7. I suppose it's possible that Flaherty's "outside experts" are actually distant relatives who work for the Rainbows and Pot-o-Gold division of Ernst & Young.

    Seriously, though: Why do journalists bother interviewing and quoting a man who has demonstrated a complete lack of competence (and trustworthiness) in finance and projections at two levels of government?

    It's not like he's only been wrong a few times — he's never been right … or even close to right.

  8. I suppose it's possible that Flaherty's "outside experts" are actually distant relatives who work for the Rainbows and Pot-o-Gold division of Ernst & Young.

    Seriously, though: Why do journalists bother interviewing and quoting a man who has demonstrated a complete lack of competence (and trustworthiness) in finance and projections at two levels of government?

    It's not like he's only been wrong a few times — he's never been right … or even close to right.

    • "It's not like he's only been wrong a few times — he's never been right … or even close to right."

      I thumbed you down by accident. But I really liked your post and that last line in particular.

  9. I've been wondering how people could still be taking Jim Flaherty seriously since he was messing up provincial finances.

  10. "It's not like he's only been wrong a few times — he's never been right … or even close to right."

    I thumbed you down by accident. But I really liked your post and that last line in particular.

  11. SH a kind of post temporal man.

    [ ok not an actual concept as far as i know…but suspension of disbelief is always fun; just ask SH.]

    Not only is he able to predict and promise programme spending far into the future. It also seems he's able to bring that future forward a year…in a purely hypothetical sense of course.

    Does that mean Harper can now bring forward his other post dated promises? Who knew it would be so simple…easy peasy eh!

    If i didn't know better i swear there was an election on.

  12. SH a kind of post temporal man.

    [ ok not an actual concept as far as i know…but suspension of disbelief is always fun; just ask SH.]

    Not only is he able to predict and promise programme spending far into the future. It also seems he's able to bring that future forward a year…in a purely hypothetical sense of course.

    Does that mean Harper can now bring forward his other post dated promises? Who knew it would be so simple…easy peasy eh!

    If i didn't know better i swear there was an election on.

  13. Attrition and hiring/budget freezes are one of the ways they intend to save money without the huge layoffs that happened in the '90's. The target was $4 billion/year but they are still collecting plans from various departments how they will function with less staff/money. Don't forget that baby boomers work in the civil service too, there will be many retirees in the next couple of years.

    "Beyond the existence of a deficit, there are no strong parallels between Canada's financial circumstances in the 1990s and the situation today. The 1990s marked the end of a long series of deficits that pushed the country's debt-to-GDP ratio to 71%. By contrast, the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2009 was 34%. The state of today's economy is much more robust: Canada has climbed out of the global recession and is creating jobs. However, this recovery contributed in large measure to a $53.8 billion deficit. Among its first steps to address the deficit, the government has proposed freezing departmental operating budgets. Doing so could quite possibly lead to future reductions in the public service. " http://www2.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/ResearchPublic….

  14. They've been 'reviewing' and consulting 'outside experts' for 5 years now….not to mention 'cutting waste', planning ahead, monitoring, blah blah blah….and we're still not one bit further ahead financially.

    In fact, in that time we went from a surplus to the largest deficit in our history…and Harper is still trotting out planes and prisons and compensation etc.

    The only way we'll get rid of the deficit….is to toss it all into the debt….and then they'll just run up another one.

  15. They've been 'reviewing' and consulting 'outside experts' for 5 years now….not to mention 'cutting waste', planning ahead, monitoring, blah blah blah….and we're still not one bit further ahead financially.

    In fact, in that time we went from a surplus to the largest deficit in our history…and Harper is still trotting out planes and prisons and compensation etc.

    The only way we'll get rid of the deficit….is to toss it all into the debt….and then they'll just run up another one.

  16. Give Harper 4 more years and I'm sure he could 'quite possibly' get that debt ratio up.

  17. Give Harper 4 more years and I'm sure he could 'quite possibly' get that debt ratio up.

  18. Looks like there will be savings with the consolidation of DND at the Nortel campus.

    "A third-party consulting firm completed a review of the contemplated purchase and confirmed that the acquisition represented considerable value for money for Canada"

    “The Government of Canada is committed to meeting the requirements of the Department of National Defence, and ensuring its facilities are the best possible to defend Canada and Canadian interests for generations to come,” said Minister Ambrose. “This one-campus environment will help achieve this objective, and is a fiscally prudent option as it will reduce operational and accommodation costs, and ultimately yield savings for Canadian taxpayers.”
    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?m=/index&amp

  19. Looks like there will be savings with the consolidation of DND at the Nortel campus.

    "A third-party consulting firm completed a review of the contemplated purchase and confirmed that the acquisition represented considerable value for money for Canada"

    “The Government of Canada is committed to meeting the requirements of the Department of National Defence, and ensuring its facilities are the best possible to defend Canada and Canadian interests for generations to come,” said Minister Ambrose. “This one-campus environment will help achieve this objective, and is a fiscally prudent option as it will reduce operational and accommodation costs, and ultimately yield savings for Canadian taxpayers.”
    http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?m=/index&amp

    • Pity bout camp Mirage eh? :)

      • Still cheeky, lol!

        (just listening to Paul Well and Flaherty discussing extra $11 billion)

        • huh huh me too [ at least i will eventually] Meanwhile Baird's out with the "boys" collecting protection money to cover Jim's estimates.

  20. Pity bout camp Mirage eh? :)

  21. Still cheeky, lol!

    (just listening to Paul Well and Flaherty discussing extra $11 billion)

  22. huh huh me too [ at least i will eventually] Meanwhile Baird's out with the "boys" collecting protection money to cover Jim's estimates.

  23. The earthquake has happened, we slowly see the tsunami coming.

    If you have time and enjoy horror stories, calculate how much it would cost to service the national debt at the (August 1981, I believe) interest rate of 21% . Portugal now pays 5.11% for six months, 5,9 % for one year and 10 % for five year bonds. Higher rates are coming, whether we chose to ignore them or not.

  24. The earthquake has happened, we slowly see the tsunami coming.

    If you have time and enjoy horror stories, calculate how much it would cost to service the national debt at the (August 1981, I believe) interest rate of 21% . Portugal now pays 5.11% for six months, 5,9 % for one year and 10 % for five year bonds. Higher rates are coming, whether we chose to ignore them or not.

  25. Thanks for the quote. It shows why Harper's approach is wrong. The first step, freezing departmental operating budgets is wrong. As those who have successfully achieved program reviews used to say, it's not about what to cut so much as what to preserve to give Canada the comparative advantage it needs to prosper in the future. Harper and his group will not use that proven approach because they don't believe that government should play such a role.

  26. Thanks for the quote. It shows why Harper's approach is wrong. The first step, freezing departmental operating budgets is wrong. As those who have successfully achieved program reviews used to say, it's not about what to cut so much as what to preserve to give Canada the comparative advantage it needs to prosper in the future. Harper and his group will not use that proven approach because they don't believe that government should play such a role.

  27. I thought I heard something.