•   
  •   
  •   

Canada John Ivison: Morneau's deficits are ballooning before the Liberal spending promises even hit

07:20  17 december  2019
07:20  17 december  2019 Source:   nationalpost.com

Morneau says he's not worried about a recession despite job numbers

  Morneau says he's not worried about a recession despite job numbers Canada's finance minister said that — while worrying about the economy is his job — he is not concerned that the country might be headed for a recession. In an interview with CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Finance Minister Bill Morneau was asked if last month's job numbers have him concerned about Canada's economic health. "My job … is to worry," he told host Vassy Kapelos. "I have to worry about numbers that came out last week. I also have to look at that in contrast to numbers that came out the week before.

The Liberals made spending commitments totalling .7 billion over four years, but so far we've heard little about all that. Rising deficits are putting pressure on the only fiscal anchor to which the government pays lip-service – the debt-to-GDP ratio – even before the risk of slowing growth in the

Share this story. John Ivison : Scheer' s endless spending promises are giving the Liberals an Scheer has fought back in lacklustre fashion by conjuring up the nightmare of Liberal governments Trudeau believes most voters don’t care about deficits , hence he has added to them with abandon

Bill Morneau wearing a suit and tie: (FILES) In this file photo taken on November 20, 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Minister of Finance Bill Morneau during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.© CHRIS WATTIE/AFP via Getty Images (FILES) In this file photo taken on November 20, 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with Minister of Finance Bill Morneau during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

The research is conclusive – the average short-term memory of animals is 27 seconds. Even dogs only retain information for two minutes.

But the human capacity for memory means most of us can remember back days, months, even years in some cases. Someone might want to tell Finance Minister Bill Morneau.

The brighter lights out there will recall we recently had a general election, during which the Liberal Party made spending commitments totalling $56.7 billion over four years. Yet, those measures were conspicuous by their absence in Monday’s fiscal update — despite the deficit being $7 billion higher than was forecast in the spring budget.

Trudeau gives nearly 300 tasks for ministers to take on in new parliament

  Trudeau gives nearly 300 tasks for ministers to take on in new parliament Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his cabinet ministers marching orders Friday, spelling out that he wants legislated targets on greenhouse gas emissions, universal pharmacare, the Trans Mountain pipeline, a UN Security Council seat and high-frequency rail between Toronto and Quebec City. Trudeau released his mandate letter for all members of his cabinet, much as he did in 2015 showing what the government would be up to for however long this parliament lasts. The government had 289 commitments in 2015, according to a mandate tracker website it developed.

John Ivison : Morneau ' s deficits are ballooning before the Liberal spending promises even hit . Liberal deficit soars to B demolishing projections, with another B in surprise red ink on the way. Liberals want to force Netflix, Disney Plus and Amazon Prime to show more Canadian content.

Morneau cut a suitably inscrutable figure when pressed on the issue, saying it was too soon to But it is never good for the credibility of a government to break promises before they have been Morneau now has to craft a budget that makes some hard choices. Namely, which promise is he going to break?

Morneau boasted about economic growth that will likely see Canada come second in the G7 next year; about historically low unemployment numbers, and wage growth that is outpacing inflation.

The finance minister wants Canadians to know that he and his colleagues are good fiscal managers who will continue to reduce the net debt to GDP ratio to make sure the economy is “strong and resilient” in the event of a downturn.

It was only after he had finished his epistle that reporters burst his bubble. Apart from the campaign promise to raise the basic personal exemption (accounting for $18 billion of the $57 billion in new spending over the next four years), there was no mention of the commitments made to Canadians during the election.

Ottawa sees lower economic growth over next five years as deficit continues to widen

  Ottawa sees lower economic growth over next five years as deficit continues to widen Ottawa sees lower economic growth over next five years as deficit continues to widenIn his fall economic update on Monday, Morneau said Canadian GDP growth is expected to grow at an average 1.8 per cent between 2019 and 2024. The projection is within the range considered healthy by economists, but still points to ongoing tensions over international trade that could send the global economy into a period of tepid growth.

John Ivison : Morneau ' s deficits are ballooning before the Liberal spending promises even hit . The man with the iron heart: Grave of leading Nazi Reinhard Heydrich dug up in Berlin.

John Ivison : Morneau ' s deficits are ballooning before the Liberal spending promises even hit . Estonia apologizes after interior minister mocks Finnish PM as 'sales girl'.

Rising deficits are putting pressure on the only fiscal anchor to which the government pays lip-service – the debt-to-GDP ratio – even before the risk of slowing growth in the economy impacts the denominator (in fact, the ratio will increase marginally in the current year, illustrating how little room for manoeuvre Morneau has).

But, and this is the point that might upset those big brains who can think back eight weeks or so, that is before the Liberals fulfill the remaining $6 billion of campaign commitments in the coming fiscal year, not to mention the $10 billion every year after that. At some point, Morneau seems destined to be faced with the fiscal equivalent of Sophie’s Choice – ditch the debt-to-GDP fiscal anchor or renege on the commitments on which his government was elected.

Bill Morneau wearing a suit and tie:  Minister of Finance Bill Morneau provides a fiscal update, Monday, December 16, 2019 in the Foyer of West block in Ottawa.© THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Minister of Finance Bill Morneau provides a fiscal update, Monday, December 16, 2019 in the Foyer of West block in Ottawa.

Far back in the mists of ancient time – roughly mid-September – Justin Trudeau said, if re-elected, he would bring in more affordable child-care, make post-secondary education more affordable, increase Employment Insurance benefits, raise Old Age Security payments, make homes more energy efficient and teach young immigrants how to camp. Then there’s pharmacare…

Morneau 'open' to Alberta Premier Kenney's request for a boost to fiscal stabilization program

  Morneau 'open' to Alberta Premier Kenney's request for a boost to fiscal stabilization program Finance Minister Bill Morneau said today he's willing to consider changes to the federal fiscal stabilization program to support oil-rich provinces like Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador now grappling with low commodity prices. Morneau's offer to consider boosting the stabilization fund came after he delivered a fiscal update that projected larger than expected deficits for this fiscal year.The update did not include new spending commitments explicitly earmarked for Alberta or Saskatchewan; Morneau said there could be some financial relief for those provinces in the works.

Share this story. John Ivison : Liberals stand by beleaguered Morneau in face of Conservative calls for But, in truth, most of the big decisions that have driven up the deficit were made before Morneau joined the Liberal team. For all the concerns about the Liberal party’ s spending addiction, he is at

Equality before the law, also known as equality under the law, equality in the eyes of the law, legal equality, or legal egalitarianism, is the principle that each independent being must be treated equally by the law (principle of isonomy) and that all are subject to the same laws of justice (due process).

It is too early to talk about broken promises – at least from this election platform – but looking at this fiscal update, it is hard to see how Morneau can do any of that and also live up to the prime minister’s demand, made in the mandate letter released last week, that he “continue to reduce the government’s debt as a function of its economy”.

“Nobody said it was going to be easy,” the finance minister joked, in a moment of dizzy candour.

Morneau remained doggedly cheerful, pointing out that all 14 private sector economists whose forecasts form the basis for growth projections are relatively optimistic. “All 14 are projecting growth. None are projecting a recession,” he said.

Still, the spectre remains, as Trudeau acknowledged in Morneau’s mandate letter when he urged the finance minister to “preserve fiscal firepower” in the event of a downturn. The horse would appear to have bolted on that one.

Wheels in motion to rework payments to budget-strained provinces, Morneau says

  Wheels in motion to rework payments to budget-strained provinces, Morneau says OTTAWA — Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau is ordering his officials to come up with ways to change how Ottawa hands out money to cash-starved provinces — hinting changes could be coming soon — but left the details to be determined in 2020. Resource-rich provinces like Alberta and Saskatchewan had put proposals on the table at Tuesday's finance ministers meeting to expand the fiscal stabilization program that helps provinces and territories facing sudden holes in their budgets, such as those created by cratering oil prices.

In side-stepping controversy, Morneau ensures that program spending as a percentage of gross domestic product crests at 14.5 per The good news for now is that the Liberals have slowed, if not stopped, construction on the path to fiscal perdition. The detail provided about infrastructure programs

Morneau claimed his plan was “fiscally responsible”, even though it projected the national debt There are signs the constant drip of questions about deficits is starting to sink in with voters. The Liberals and their supporters care little about deficits , beyond the commitment to keep the debt-to-GDP ratio

Even in the spring budget, there was a sense that deficits were under control, coming in under $10 billion by the end of the cycle in 2023/24. This projection has the budget $16.3 billion in the red that year – and that’s before the additional $10 billion in spending anticipated in the Liberal platform.

Perhaps the most dispiriting graph in the new fiscal update charts real business investment. It shows that investment in Canada has fallen 10 per cent in the past four years, even as business spending in competitor countries like the U.S., the U.K., and Germany has risen by a similar amount.

Lower investment means slower economic growth and wasted economic potential. The Liberal government did introduce tax incentives in last year’s fall statement. The update projects corporate income tax revenues will fall seven per cent this year, so businesses are availing themselves.

But Canada is clearly not a magnet for capital. If public debt accumulation is not yet at an unsustainable rate, it is also the case that this country is not invulnerable to being sideswiped by events from beyond its borders.

There are probably only a handful of people left whose memories extend as far back as 1995, when the Mexican peso crisis put the Canadian dollar under downward pressure and forced a sharp rise in interest rates, as investors demanded a risk premium. Let’s hope Bill Morneau is one of them, and that if he is faced with an unpalatable decision, he chooses wisely.

jivison@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/IvisonJ

Morneau takes shot at Tories over recession talk in wake of fiscal update .
Morneau takes shot at Tories over recession talk in wake of fiscal updateFinance Minister Bill Morneau also suggested in separate broadcast interviews that the country's economic track will have a bearing on how the Liberals steer their government's budget in the coming years.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 0
This is interesting!