Saturday, April 25, 2009

Wow, It's Still Surplus!

The mainstream media is by no means eager to mention that, but, believe it or not, Canada is about to end fiscal year 2008/09 with a small surplus:
For the first 11 months of the 2008–09 fiscal year, there was a budgetary surplus of $1.3 billion, down $11.3 billion from the $12.6-billion surplus reported in the same period of 2007–08. Budgetary revenues decreased by $6.0 billion, or 2.7 per cent, primarily reflecting lower corporate income tax and GST revenues, partially offset by growth in personal income tax and other revenues. Program expenses were up $7.4 billion, or 4.2 per cent, due to higher transfer payments, Crown corporation expenses and operating expenses of National Defence. Public debt charges were down $2.0 billion on a year-over-year basis, reflecting a lower average effective interest rate on the stock of interest-bearing debt.
So we don't have the $3.8B surplus, originally budgeted for 2008/09, but at least we don't have the $1.1B deficit, predicted in the most recent budget. $1.3B surplus in 11 months - that more or less matches the projection outlined in the last fall's economic update. The latter predicted $0.8B surplus for 2008/09.

But then comes the fiscal 2009/10, which brings along lots of "stimulus" spending. Program expenses are projected to hit $229B this year and $236B in 2010/11. That's when we're going to have all those $30B deficits. The only hope is that the government (which can no longer count on the disgruntled Liberal voters, but has plenty of small-c Conservatives to win back) starts cutting corners here and there, to keep the deficits lower than predicted. A sharp cut in spending (or at the least - not letting program spending to grow beyond $230B until 2015 or so) would be great, but... We're 11 seats short :( And it looks like those 11 seats are going to cost us (and our children) some about $6B each, if not $7B. And billions more in interest charges :(

P.S. Special thanks to Kate McMillan for posting the link on Small Dead Animals.

1 comment:

~Mrs.Lu said...

BROTHER! If every ordinary family in Canada used their money the way our government uses our money, we'd ALL be bankrupt, PDQ!!!

In my family, there's no such thing as a SURPLUS when there is outstanding DEBT!

The spin on the accounting for public monies is absolutely mind-boggling!