Idea alert

The separatists kindly suggest a way out of deficit.

The BQ said the federal government should drastically reduce the size of the federal civil service, replacing every three workers that retire over the next five years with just one worker. Reducing the federal payroll that way could eventually cut Ottawa’s annual spending on its own workforce by billions each year. It also said Ottawa could chop the $3 billion it spends annually on “professional services,” money paid to outside consultants for advice on everything from communications to policy decisions to temporary help.

Laforest also said Ottawa should do what U.S. President Barack Obama has done and ask the country’s wealthiest citizens to pay a greater share in income tax to eliminate the deficit. The Bloc suggests those Canadians with a taxable income of $150,000 a year should pay an additional one per cent in income taxes. That measure, the BQ calculates, would affect about 450,000 Canadians and could net Ottawa an additional $1.5 billion a year.

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