What changed in the last 17 days? (II)

In Chapter 5 of last month’s budget, the Harper government outlined its “comprehensive one-year Strategic and Operating Review.” It is to be completed in time for next year’s budget, but the government projected its findings as so.

In total, Budget 2011 savings measures amount to $6.2 billion in savings over five years.Combined with the targeted savings from the Strategic and Operating Review, total savings could be as much as $17.2 billion over five years.

Apparently between that budget being tabled and today’s platform being written, could became will. As the Conservative platform now puts it: “Through accelerated reductions in government spending, a reelected Stephen Harper Government will eliminate the deficit by 2014-15…”

Budget 2011 promises $6.2-billion in cuts. The Conservative platform now promises another $11-billion in cuts. The goal is apparently to achieve annual savings of 5% from an envelope of $80-billion in “direct program spending.”

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